LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Baltimore Orioles are considering changing Manny Machado from third base to shortstop in 2018 – if they do not move him to another team before Opening Day.
A source confirmed one report in The Athletic that the Orioles began bidding on Machado, three times All-Star, who will be eligible for free agency next winter. The source said that the Orioles "are not buying, but listening" to exchange proposals from other clubs.
In the midst of commercial speculation, manager Buck Showalter said he talked to Machado about a possible return to the shortstop. Showalter confirmed that Machado expressed his desire to play little since he joined the organization seven years ago.
"He's always done it since the day he signed," Showalter said. "To say that Manny and I have not had conversations about it over the years, would not be sincere."
Machado, 25, entered the professional field at shortstop as the third global selection in the 2010 June first three-year player. He moved to third base as a rookie in 2013 in deference to veteran shortstop JJ Hardy, and has won two Gold Gloves in the position. This year, Machado finished in a tie in the ninth place among Major League Basemen with 6 defensive careers saved, according to Baseball Info Solutions.
Machado has also been one of the elite offensive producers in the game. Since 2013, he has a court line of .280 / .338 / .502 and is tied with JD Martinez for seventh in the majors with 105 homers.
Hardy, who is now a free agent, started 70 games as shortstop for the Orioles in 2017. If the Orioles shortcut Machado again, they will have to find a place for Tim Beckham, who started 49 games in the position after to come from Tampa Bay in a mid-season exchange.  The Orioles could get rid of the payroll and strengthen their farm system by swapping Machado and veteran closer Zach Britton this offseason, but Showalter said the team is still considering what course it will take. He hopes to participate after general manager Dan Duquette evaluates available commercial options.
"We're not talking about that all the time," Showalter said. "I'm not involved in much of what's really going on … that's Dan's situation and Dan's prerogative and his communication with people, but if something is going to drastically change the construction of our list, then I'm sure that They will bring me to her. "