Orioles standout Manny Machado showed up to camp Saturday and told reporters (including Bob Nightengale of USA Today, via Twitter) that he and the team have not discussed a long-term extension. Interestingly, the soon-to-be free agent added that he’d like to line up at shortstop for the rest of his career. Machado, 25, has played the majority of his career at third base since debuting in 2012, but the O’s decided to move him back to shortstop – his original position – last month. “This is where my heart has always been,” Machado said of short (Twitter link via Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com). Barring an unlikely extension before next offseason, Machado will easily be the premier shortstop option available in a star-studded free agent class. In the meantime, if he thrives at short this year, Machado will have a chance to earn a bit more than his $16MM salary. He’d make an extra $100K by winning a Gold Glove Award and $250K by taking home Platinum Glove honors, Nightengale tweets.
A couple more notes on Baltimore…
- Like Machado, second baseman Jonathan Schoop may not be long for Baltimore (he’s in his penultimate year of team control). However, Schoop “would be open to an extension,” Ghiroli tweets. And while there was reportedly some frustration between him and the Orioles during the arbitration process, Schoop indicated there’s no bitterness on either end. To this point, there haven’t been any extension talks, but Schopp said he’s “not disappointed” in that (Twitter link via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). He’ll make $8.5MM this season after posting a career year in 2017.
- Kubatko has the latest on the Orioles’ search for starters, writing that they’re monitoring free agent left-hander Francisco Liriano. On the other hand, the Orioles have “cooled on” free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill, whom they were interested in earlier in the offseason, per Kubatko. Fellow righties R.A. Dickey and Scott Feldman (an ex-Oriole) are options for Baltimore, Kubatko suggests, though he notes that the former may end up retiring instead of pitching in 2018.