While the Orioles front office continues to declare that it has no plans to trade third baseman Manny Machado this offseason, this week’s winter meetings will begin to give the team more clarity whether the franchise has any chance — or willingness — to keep its top all-around player long term.

Machado is scheduled for free agency at the end of the 2018 season, and there is no sign of movement in retaining the three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner before he could hit the open market at the age of 26. At this point, it seems unlikely the Orioles will be able to retain the superstar third baseman, but the team hasn’t written off that possibility quite yet..

At the winter meetings, which will take place at the Swan and Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World from Monday through early Thursday, there’s no question other teams will inquire about Machado’s availability in a trade.

The Orioles have not yet reached out to Machado’s representatives from MVP Sports Group this offseason regarding an extension, according to an industry source, but it would be customary for the team to meet with them this week to discuss Machado’s future with the club.

No potential discussion figures to go very far. The Orioles aren’t aiming to start a rebuild in 2018 even though there are many reasons they should, including the division-rival New York Yankees’ pending acquisition of reigning National League Most Valuable Player Giancarlo Stanton.