Possible trade target Manny Machado says he won't switch positions again

Miami Marlins v Baltimore Orioles

With the July 31 non-waiver MLB trade deadline fast approaching, all eyes are on the Baltimore Orioles and Manny Machado.

Machado, who was hitting .308 with 21 home runs and 59 RBIs for the 24-61 Orioles heading into Thursday night, is in the final year of his contract with Baltimore and is set to be a free agent in the winter.

Therefore, since the Orioles are already out of contention and are continuing their downward spiral, it makes sense to ship off the perennial All-Star and get as much as they can back for him in the hopes of officially starting a rebuilding process.

If they don’t make a deal before the 31st, they’ll lose out on any compensation for him if he decides to sign elsewhere in free agency.

There’s not much not to like about Machado or his game. The 6’3” shortstop is still just 25 years old and might not have entered his prime yet. His incredible arm and defensive skills are upstaged by his dynamic power and average combination at the plate.

Therefore, many teams have already been linked to discussions regarding Machado and his availability. However, based on comments he made on Thursday, the list of teams might have gotten smaller.

“Do I want to play for a contending team? Yeah. Do I want to go to the playoffs? Yeah. Do I want to win a ring? Of course I do. Those are all things every baseball player wants, so for me to go somewhere and help out a team, I don’t know if it’ll be here or it’ll be somewhere else, but I’m going to do everything in my power to help the team out,” Machado told Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  v Baltimore Orioles

Therefore, he wants to either be traded to a contending squad before the deadline or will most likely sign with one in the winter. But, he has another stipulation that might cross some more teams off the list.

Once a shortstop, always a shortstop

“I’m playing short,” Machado said. “That’s the position I want to play. That’s the position I know I can play and produce [at]. … I’ve been a shortstop my entire life. I’ve played third base for a couple years. I did well, and I thought I was an elite player at that position, but at the end of the day, I’ve been a shortstop my entire life. I know I can be a way better player as a shortstop than I can at third.”

Looking at the top of the American League, there most likely won’t be a shortstop spot open for Machado. The Houston Astros (Carlos Correa), Boston Red Sox (Xander Bogaerts), New York Yankees (Didi Gregorius) and Cleveland Indians (Francisco Lindor), for example, are all set at that spot.

Therefore, a move to the National League might make Machado happiest. Nearly every current contender could use Machado’s production at shortstop. 

The Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers could pencil him in at short tomorrow if a trade went down right now.

It will be fascinating to see if he’s traded before the deadline or if he will be in Baltimore for the rest of the season. One thing is for certain: he’s most likely going to sign for a jaw-dropping amount of money in free agency.

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