Machado is starting AL shortstop for All-Star Game as lone Oriole rep; Markakis, Cruz and Hader all get All-Star nods - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Machado is starting AL shortstop for All-Star Game as lone Oriole rep; Markakis, Cruz and Hader all get All-Star nods

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I guess technically we could make this All-Star story about the Orioles and what they didn’t do in 2014.

We’ll get to that in a moment.

First to the good news for the team: Shortstop Manny Machado received the highest number of votes at his position and will start in the All-Star Game for the second time in his career. He’ll be the lone Orioles representative at next Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

That is, assuming he’s still an Oriole at that point. Machado, who turned 26 this week, is the biggest name on the MLB trade block with the July 31 non-waiver deadline looming.

If Machado is traded by the Orioles to an American League team before next Tuesday, he could still start at shortstop for his new club. However, if he is sent to the National League, he would be ineligible to play in the game, but he would be introduced to the crowd. Major League Baseball does not have to replace Machado with an Orioles’ representative if he were traded before Tuesday.

No matter who he’s with, Machado deserved the starting nod after hitting .313 with 21 homers and 60 RBIs in 88 games for the Orioles. It’s his fourth All Star Game nomination, second start and first as a shortstop.

He switched to the position this year after six seasons at third base – where he started in the 2016 Midsummer Classic. This year, Machado received 1,740,645 votes to beat out Houston’s Carlos Correa (1,684.,016), who finished second for AL shortstop.

This is the second consecutive year that the Orioles will have one All Star; last year second baseman Jonathan Schoop was the club’s lone rep.

There are a few former Orioles that made this year’s squad – including two who helped lead the 2014 Orioles to a division title.

After making the American League Championship Series that season, the Orioles didn’t re-sign veteran leaders Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz because the club, for various reasons, didn’t want to offer four years to either player.

Cruz was 34 at the time, and he’d be 38 at the end of a four-year deal. And Markakis was headed for neck fusion surgery and his power numbers had stagnated.

So, the Orioles passed on both, preferring to offer three-year deals, which were topped by the Seattle Mariners (Cruz) and Atlanta Braves (Markakis).

Fast forward four years, and Cruz, a reserve, and Markakis, a NL starting outfielder, are 2018 All Stars in the final seasons of their current contracts.

This is the sixth AL All-Star Game for Cruz and fifth selection since 2013.

The 34-year-old Markakis is making his first All-Star Game in a 13-season career, the first nine of which were played in Baltimore.

Markakis, who is having a resurgent season in Atlanta (.322 average, .389 on-base percentage, .490 slugging percentage, 10 homers and a league-best 113 hits) was the top-vote getter among NL outfielders with 3,556,469 votes. He was second overall in the NL, behind his teammate, first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Another All Star of note from a local perspective: Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader, who graduated from Old Mill High School and was drafted by the Orioles in the 19th round in 2012. He was dealt to the Houston Astros on July 31, 2013 in a trade that brought Bud Norris to the Orioles. Two years later, Hader was part of a package that the Astros sent to the Brewers for Mike Fiers and Carlos Gomez.

Hader, 24, is 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA and seven saves in 29 games for the Brewers. He has struck out 83 batters and walked 18 in 44 2/3 innings.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. 54orioles

    July 8, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Seems that the Os don’t make good choices. I would have loved to have Crus. Markakis , and Harder on this team. We lost Cruz because of $$ but kept CD. Gave up on Markakis but haven’t had a better right fielder since he signed with the Braves. On the Hader situation….just a bad too early to see his potential and Noris did a decent job while he was here

    • Mau

      July 9, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Seems?

    • Dan Connolly

      July 9, 2018 at 10:32 am

      This is where I balance. They’ve made plenty of good decisions in the past decade too. But these two non-signings are probably among the five worst in hindsight. Along with the hefty contracts of Jimenez as Davis and the trade of Arrieta.

  2. Birdman

    July 8, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Time to pull the trigger on a Machado deal … if he gets injured between now and July 31, O’s get nothing – make the best deal you can now and move on.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 9, 2018 at 10:34 am

      I respectfully disagree. You pull the trigger when you get what you want. And if that doesn’t come until the end of July so be it. It can’t be best deal now. It has to be best deal. If they get the package they want now, sure. If they don’t, then wait until a team panics. There’s enough teams in the mix that one will.

  3. Rusty Trumbo

    July 9, 2018 at 6:29 am

    I don’t really care about trading away Hader, the O’s farm systems would have just ruined him anyway. Something is deeply wrong with our pitching development, even when guys make it to the majors they flame out quickly.

    • 54orioles

      July 9, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Drink chip for you…….Sorry Dan

    • Dan Connolly

      July 9, 2018 at 10:35 am

      Hey, someone snagging my drink chips?

  4. Orial

    July 9, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Hader was a nobody at the time. No big deal. Markakis lookedcdone after 2014. Though having a good year after 3 average seasons in Atlanta Markakis deal is justifiable,not adequately replacing him is more concerning. Cruz should have been a no brainer–sign him. As far as Manny–just trade him will ya?!!

    • Dan Connolly

      July 9, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Cruz wasn’t a no-brainer since he has had some knee issues previously and was already 34 at the time. It was a calculated gamble imo but not a no brained.

  5. brooks.pryor

    July 9, 2018 at 8:49 am

    More so than anything from this season, letting Nick and Nelson leave were the two worst decisions Duquette ever made. Losing Cruz was the beginning of the end of this teams success in my opinion.

    • Dan Connolly

      July 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Well there is Ubaldo and Arrieta. But I get ya.

  6. TxBirdFan

    July 9, 2018 at 8:50 am

    Extremely happy to see Markakis make the all-stars. He’s always been one of my favorite players with a cannon in RF. Wish we had seen him as an All-Star in an O’s uniform during those years he hit .300 in the first half. He deserved it then IMO and has waited a long time for this. Congrats Nick – nice to have a good news story.

  7. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    July 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I am glad Nick made the All Star team. He played on some really bad Orioles teams and never received the recognition he was due. He was among leaders in outfield assists, played excellent defense, and a clutch hitter. It took a career year to get noticed. Congratulations Nick.

  8. Bancells Moustache

    July 9, 2018 at 11:04 am

    So if he switches leagues he gets announced but doesn’t play, what about if Machado switches sports? With the bumbling at the Warehouse combined with the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles send Manny to the Golden State Warriors for Quinn Cook and Patrick McCaw.

  9. GreenOriole

    July 9, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Glad you posted up on this topic Dan, pointing out the irony of what a fourth contract year may mean. The Cruz non-signing is a frightening reflection of the greater organization, his numbers were solid but of greater lasting impact, he was close to and mentoring two of our brightest young stars.
    Analytics can’t define influence but they can blind you to how to build a team. (Or.keep one together)

  10. jimcarter

    July 9, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Once this season concludes, the Orioles will sport 1 winning season over the last 4. It’s rather laughable to see people constantly defending the loss of quality players (in various ways) in recent years. Let’s do a more comprehensive list than the participants in the all star game: Justin Turner, Eduardo Rodriquez, Jake Arietta, Pedro Strop, Matt Albers, Andrew Miller, David Hernandez, Steve Pearce, Mark Reynolds.

  11. John in Cincy

    July 10, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    That Josh Hader has been named an All-Star rubs more salt in the wound.

  12. Charger

    July 10, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I like Manny, but if he has no intention of staying with the Orioles, I hope he gets traded to a National League team before the All-Star game! If the price was reasonable and he respects Baltimore for his career, he doesn’t need 300m or 400m, to prove a point.

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