Manny Machado has found himself in a new position…
The 25-year-old Dominican American professional baseball player will play shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles this season after spending the majority of his career at third base.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Machado will switch positions Saturday during the team’s FanFest.
“There could be some adjustments if we don’t like the feel of it, but that’s where we’re going to head into it,” Showalter said.
Tim Beckham, who has primarily played shortstop throughout his career, will swap positions with Machado and play third base, according to Showalter.
“I think Tim would rather play shortstop, as Manny would,” Showalter said. “Tim’s big thing is getting an opportunity to play every day at one position. We need to settle both those guys into a spot and let them get into it.”
Machado broke into Major League Baseball at shortstop as the third overall pick in the June 2010 first-year player draft. The three-time All-Star moved to third base as a rookie in 2013 in deference to veteran shortstop J.J. Hardy, and he has won two Gold Gloves at the position.
Showalter said Machado was enthusiastic about the switch.
“All indications are, he’s really excited about this,” Showalter said. “I can’t imagine him being in a better frame of mind or setup to do this. I think out of his respect for J.J. the past few years he’s been very professional about it. But it’s not like he’s changing positions. He’s going back to the position he’s equipped to play.”
Machado finished in a tie for ninth among MLB third basemen in 2017 with six defensive runs saved, according to Baseball Info Solutions.
He avoided arbitration this month by agreeing to a $16 million contract for 2018. He received $11.5 million last season.
Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, has to decide whether to deal Machado sometime between now and September or seek to sign him to a long-term deal.
“That’s a big decision for the organization, obviously,” Duquette said. “But we’re planning on Manny being with the club. We explored all those options. We think the strongest option is for Manny to be on the ballclub.”