General managers who are considering pursuing Baltimore Orioles All-Star slugger Manny Machado in free agency this winter may want to ensure they have a third baseman in tow before doing so

Machado, the top name available via trade this month and one of this winter's biggest pending free agents, confirmed Wednesday that he will be entering free agency as a shortstop, and won't sign if he's being moved back to his former position of third base.

"I'm playing short," Machado told Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. "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."

Machado's position has been the subject of scrutiny during his entire career. Initially drafted and developed by Baltimore as a shortstop, he was only moved to third for the first time after reaching the majors in 2012.