At All-Star Game, Machado prepares to say Orioles goodbye - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

At All-Star Game, Machado prepares to say Orioles goodbye

Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA Today

WASHINGTON—The wait is nearly over for Manny Machado, and now that the All-Star Game is over, the Orioles can get on with the business at hand.

Machado handled the media roar as well as he’s played this year, but soon he’ll be someone else’s superstar.

Presumably the Orioles will trade their talented shortstop, perhaps as early as Wednesday. According to The Athletic, Machado will go to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Orioles will receive minor leaguers in return. Promising outfielder Yusniel Diaz, who’s starring at Double-A Tulsa, is the most prominent name mentioned.

Evaluating the return for Machado is for the weeks, months and possibly years to come.

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Tuesday night was for the rest of the baseball world to appreciate Machado. He really did nothing memorable in his two at-bats, flying to left on the first pitch in the second inning and popping to third in the fourth inning. He only handled one ground ball in the five innings he played in the American League’s 8-6 win over the National League in 10 innings.

But Machado decided the game was going to be memorable. He took a selfie at second base with the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, with whom he could play as early as Friday when Los Angeles visits Milwaukee.

Coincidentally, the Brewers also have been a reported suitor for Machado, as have the Philadelphia Phillies, who the Dodgers visit early next week.

Machado took another selfie with former teammate Nick Markakis, who’s not known for hijinks.

“I ran up to him, and he starting reaching in his pocket. I didn’t know what he was doing,” Markakis said. “He pulled out his phone and we took a picture on the field. That was a pretty cool moment. Pretty cool for him to do.”

Before the game, Machado endured another media scrum and spoke for just under three minutes.

“It’s awesome,” Machado said before the game. “Every time you put on the Oriole uniform it’s always a great blessing and you always want the opportunity to put that on. Just put it on, go play shortstop when I get my name announced. I know there’s going to be some Baltimore fans out there, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Machado received a nice greeting when he was introduced, but it hardly rivaled the one that the Nationals’ Bryce Harper received from the home crowd.

Harper delighted the home crowd by winning the Home Run Derby in exciting fashion Monday night. He and Machado are likely to be the top prizes in next fall’s free-agent market.

The Nationals hope to hold on to their young star. The Orioles know they can’t.

“You know what?” Machado said. “Honestly, I don’t even expect anything… I’m just not even trying to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’ll be there.

“Honestly, like I said before and I’m going to continue to say it, I’m not even worried about that. I’m not worried about what’s going to happen later. I’m worried about today, and that’s the only way you can handle stuff.”

Machado thought he had heard every possible question from the press.

“This is probably going to be the last one I answer,” he said. “There will be a time and place when I’ll be here again answering questions if it happens or if it doesn’t. But for now, I’m just trying to worry about today and not trying to worry about anything else … just try to go out there and enjoy myself as much as I can.”

Machado left the stadium well before the end of the game, but he could have had post-game plans with Kemp, who said they didn’t talk about the possibility of a Dodgers union.

“We just talked about where we were going to eat after the All-Star Game,” Kemp said. “Just talking about food, good things like that, how’s the family — fun stuff like that. Just enjoying the All-Star Game.”

If Machado goes to the National League, he’ll play against Markakis, who has become an admirer.

“I enjoyed my time playing with him,” Markakis said. “He was a great teammate, great dude, and whatever happens with him after the break, I wish him well.”

Orioles fans will undoubtedly agree.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Ron tee

    July 18, 2018 at 1:16 am

    at end of year pay what it’s takes and sign him and build team around him. management was stupid in not recognizing long term contact with Davis would hender them in signing him. also in past 20 years they draft 170 lb players instead of 200 lb players. we see that in Frederick every year when they come up. SAD. same results. no future. need to make trades for prospects. team has needed better Scout’s for years.

    • PA Bird Lover

      July 18, 2018 at 5:35 am

      Agree 100% with your very last sentence.

  2. Borg

    July 18, 2018 at 4:17 am

    One thing that I think gets lost in all of this is the reality that the Orioles are basically saying they wouldn’t increase their team payroll by around $13 million per year to keep Machado–he’s making $17 million now so it would take another $13 million to keep him. They could have offered a four or five year extension to him a year or two ago with the argument that he would only be 30 when that extension was over and he could still sign a bigger contract then. Or maybe push the angle that he could play another few seasons with his best bud Schoop by signing Schoop to an extension as well. Machado going free agent isn’t as disappointing as the fact that the Orioles apparently never even made him an offer. Why bother drafting players who might become stars if you have no intention of keeping them long-term?

    • PA Bird Lover

      July 18, 2018 at 5:50 am

      I’ve had your same thoughts that is about the additional 13 mil. The boy is 26 yrs old, why didn’t they think ahead. You want a rebuild than make Manny the center piece. Since PA bought this great franchise he has literally destroyed it. It is sad as hell watching it happen. I’m 75 and was at one of the very first games in 54. The trail of this franchise has been lost. Once known for our great pitchers and not just for a season or two. The Birds have had great pitching and defense for years, right up to when PA took over….and he has failed miserably. He may be a great lawyer, but he sure is not a baseball man.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

      Borg-You draft players to try and win. Realistically, it’s very hard to keep a core group of players together for more than a handful of years. The Orioles actually extended J.J. Hardy–twice–and Adam Jones–as well as Chris Davis, Darren O’Day and Mark Trumbo.

      While the Davis contract hasn’t worked out, the Orioles have kept some. Yes, they should have tried harder to sign Machado–and Schoop, but they have re-signed players in the recent past.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    As Popeye would say, “I can’t stands it no more”!! Just trade him already. No Machado … No Dan Connolly …. (NO offense Mr. Dubroff) and no hope for the immediate future. I can’t remember EVER being so depressed regarding this great team and sport of ours.

    Nothing left to do but start working on my fantasy football team …..

    Go O’s, let’s get ’em next spring!!

    Sigh …….

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 18, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Don’t worry BRR, I don’t take any offense, but as Dan wrote yesterday, you can still read him in The Athletic.

  4. Osfan73

    July 18, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Hoping the players the Os get in return from trading Manny or anyone else actually turn out well & help the team in the near future.
    I worry about Duquette having this team’s best future interests in mind given he’s in the last year of his contract as well and I’ve heard nothing on him coming back. But the Os FA knew that too.
    Lastly this will (sadly) probably happen again
    with Schoop next year IMO, & if it does it won’t really surprise me.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 18, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Osfan73–Yes, it’s true that Dan Duquette’s future is uncertain, but if he wants to return here–or get a job elsewhere in baseball, he’ll only help his case by making deals that are in the best interest of his current employer.

      The best way to get a new job is by doing your present one well.

  5. Orial

    July 18, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Wait till Lindor and Ramirez contracts come up in Cleveland. Then we’ll see we’re not alone in this.

  6. Bancells Moustache

    July 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I don’t care if they package him off to ISIS, just end it already.

    • Raymo

      July 18, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Does ISIS have any promising prospects?

      • Bancells Moustache

        July 18, 2018 at 6:40 pm

        The centerpiece would need to be Muhammed al Muhammed, but I understand he is considered untouchable. Theres also some buzz around Fourouk Mostapha Hajj

    • Raymo

      July 18, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Wasn’t Hajj implicated in a PED scandal last year?

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