Orioles’ Manny Machado Vows Contract, Trade Rumors Won’t Distract In 2018

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Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado

Photo via Michael Owens/USA TODAY Sports Images

Has Manny Machado made a $350 million promise to Major League Baseball fans?

The Baltimore Orioles shortstop told reporters Saturday that constant speculation about his future won’t derail his pursuit of success in 2018. Machado’s contract will expire after this season, and rumors about his impending move away from the team in free agency or via in-season have swirled for months and will continue to do so during the season.

But Machado, whom the Orioles will play in his favored shortstop position, instead of third base where he has played for the majority of his six seasons with the team, intends to focus on playing well and letting his representatives worry about the business aspect of his career.

“It’s not about more money or a 20-year contract,” Machado said about his position change, per USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. ” I don’t want to keep switching off. I want to stay at shortstop. “It’s where my heart has always been.’’

Many expect Machado to sign a contract worth more than $350, perhaps with the New York Yankees or another big-market club. He’s all but certain to leave the Orioles, who aren’t willing to meet his sky-high demands.

“It won’t be a distraction,’’ Machado said. “I don’t work in the front office. I’m not an agent. I just play baseball.’’

Faced with the prospect of losing their franchise player, Orioles fans only can hope Machado means what he says at the outset of his last season with the team.

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