Third baseman Manny Machado, who’s two years away from free agency, said the Orioles haven’t been in contact with him recently about a possible contract extension.
He added, though, that he understands why contract talks are on the back burner, and he’s ready and willing to engage in discussions whenever the subject may arise.
“Nothing has come up,” Machado said. “It’s there. It’s open. This is the organization I play for. This is the organization I want to play for. I’m open to talking when the time is right. There’s always a time. Right now we’re going to focus on trying to win a championship and bring the right guys in here that we need to bring in.
“There’s other priorities out there, and I got it. I have two years left, and it’s out of my control. I can’t go out there and tell them, ‘Hey, I want this.’ It’s not like that. They know I want to play here. This is my organization. This is the team I want to play for. They drafted me, I came up through the organization. I’ve done everything with this team. This is the only team I know. So I’m all for it.
“I’d rather win a ring than sign a long-term contract. They’re doing the right things to put the right pieces in the right direction, so when the time comes, I know they’re going to come up and try to get something done. But for the meantime, we’re just trying to go out there and put the best 25 guys out on the field and see what happens.”
The Orioles’ ability to re-sign some of their own free agents during the past two winters — specifically Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis — gave Machado encouragement that the club has left the door open for him.
“They finally started signing guys, so that’s obviously a step in the right direction,” Machado said. “They want guys to stay. They want guys [like] Cal [Ripken] and Brooks [Robinson] and [Jim] Palmer, those guys who stayed here for a long time in their careers. So they definitely want to. Obviously there’s other priorities right now, and we all know that, so it’s not a big deal. But we’ve still got a couple years left to wait for and see what happens.”
Some have speculated that if Machado goes to free agency after the 2018 season, he could be in line for a record-breaking contract. Already a three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, Machado would be hitting free agency at the age of 26.
Machado insisted he hasn’t thought about his potential payout.
“Honestly I kind of stay away from all that. Obviously glances come up here and there, but those are things you can’t control. I can’t control how much they’re going to pay me or what I’m worth. The only thing I can do is go out there and play baseball, keep putting up numbers, keep doing things, keep being a good teammate, and keep producing, keep trying to win some games for your ballclub. Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters, that’s all that counts. If you don’t do any of that stuff, none of that other stuff will come.”