Manny Machado’s equipment bag from the World Baseball Classic arrived at his locker this morning a few minutes before the three-time All-Star, who walked into the clubhouse with a big smile on his face, approached every teammate, and offered a handshake and a hug. One at a time. Every player he could find. Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop have reported to camp two days before the first full-squad workout, best friends arriving almost simultaneously at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Could it happen any other way? Machado expressed his relief over the failed trade discussions, repeated a desire to stay in Baltimore and said that his move to shortstop will be permanent. Any team signing him beyond 2018 will be doing so knowing that he isn’t going back to third base. Trade talks heated up at the Winter Meetings, but the Orioles insisted that they weren’t shopping him. Machado, meanwhile, said he isn’t surprised that he’s still in the organization. “I knew from the get-go, I know there’s a business part of it,” he said. “They’re trying to get the best for the team. They’re just trying to look for what was out there, what my value was worth. I knew that they still wanted me here and I was a big key to the success that we’re going to have this year for the team. So I’m here to be an Oriole and do what I’ve got to do to help this team win some games and move forward.” It hasn’t been a typical offseason for Machado, with the trade speculation and his move to shortstop.
Manny Machado downplays significance of offseason trade talks
Masn | Feb 17