The Orioles are preoccupied with drumming up potential trade partners, putting the most appealing and affordable free agents on their board and getting their coaches and various staff members under contract for the 2018 season. Extension talks are on the back burner of the hot stove season. Manny Machado’s representatives will hear from the Orioles in perhaps a final attempt to keep him from entering the free agent market. I don’t see the downside of negotiating during the season - Machado doesn’t need to skip games for it and I’m fairly certain that executive vice president Dan Duquette or managing partner Peter G. Angelos can squeeze in the necessary hours - but there’s always the fear that it could become a distraction. Anyway, the Orioles are waiting to revisit the subject after a few previous attempts that didn’t go far. “We’ve been focused on the trade possibilities and adding some players and also working on what we’re going to have to pay some of the players in the arbitration process,” Duquette said. “That’s been the focus of our work the last couple of weeks. Once we get our focus a little clearer on those issues, we can look at some other ones.” Can the Orioles afford Machado? I seriously doubt it. The exorbitant cost in this market seems like an incredibly poor and unrealistic match. Take a poll within the organization and you won’t find many people brimming with optimism. But the sides need to talk again. Machado didn’t play shortstop this year after making six starts in 2015 and 43 in 2016. There were whispers that the physical toll caused Machado to lose interest in the position, but I’ve heard that it remains his preference. Tim Beckham is on the roster, however, and the Orioles are left to decide whether he’s trustworthy with the glove. The bat certainly was a blessing in August. The point here is that the door on Machado playing shortstop hasn’t slammed shut.