Sign/Trade Manny Machado
Remember, this was first written in early January, when the Orioles were seemingly still entertaining offers for their star third baseman who is now their starting shortstop. The “Trading Manny” ship seemingly has sailed, at least until July, when the club’s executives re-evaluate the Orioles’ chances. I won’t say the Orioles swung and missed on dealing Machado before spring training started. We don’t know exactly what they were offered – and several team executives say it simply wasn’t enough. I’ll buy that on face value, though it’s hard to believe they’ll get more at the trade deadline. Still, a bidding war could make that happen. And, yes, it’s also possible the Orioles are in the playoff hunt in July and hold onto Machado all season before seeing him walk away next offseason for some draft picks. That’s certainly not how I would do it. And I’m not optimistic they extend him at any point in 2018 since that conversation hasn’t been had for a couple years. I’ve been asked a lot whether I’m surprised the Orioles didn’t trade Machado this winter. My answer is paradoxical. I absolutely didn’t think it would happen. But once the Orioles started listening to offers, I absolutely thought it would. Rarely does a club dangle its superstar and then pull him off the table. But the Orioles are, well, unique.