On the night of the All-Star Game Erik Swoope Jersey , Manny Machado will proudly represent the Baltimore Orioles, the only team he’s played for in the big leagues.
It just might be his final appearance in an Orioles uniform. With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looming, it won’t be long before the four-time AL All-Star is dealt from last-place Baltimore to a contender.
Machado was drafted by the Orioles with the third overall pick in 2010 and has been a starter in Baltimore since 2012. His contract expires after this season, and the Orioles don’t have enough money to keep the 26-year-old shortstop and build a decent team around him.
If there was ever any doubt about their intention, the point was hammered home when manager Buck Showalter removed Machado in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against Texas because the field was messy following a rain delay.
”A month ago he wouldn’t have come out of the game,” Showalter said. ”We know that. You know it.”
Machado does, too. What he doesn’t know, however, is how it might feel to play for another team.
”The only thing I’ve ever known has been the Orioles organization,” he said Monday. ”The drafted me, I came up with them, played with them. So I don’t know anything different.”
Machado wasn’t the only All-Star facing the prospect of switching teams in the next two weeks. Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and pitchers Jacob deGrom (Mets), J.A. Happ (Blue Jays), Blake Snell (Rays) and Brad Hand (Padres) could be headed to contenders.
”Starting pitching is always big during the trade deadline, whether it’s me or somebody else who’s having a good year,” said deGrom, 30, a member of the Mets for his entire career.
The Blue Jays are going nowhere this season in the AL East, but Happ knows he might be going somewhere else.
”I know it’s certainly a possibility,” Happ said. ”But I was talking to one of the guys earlier, he was in a position last year where everybody was telling him he was going to be traded, and it never happened. I can’t imagine going through a month of that kind of anxiety and then have nothing happen.”
With Machado, there seems to be little doubt that he’s headed elsewhere. The only questions now are where, and when.
The rumors, the massive media crowd around him Monday and the prospect of his imminent departure from Baltimore did nothing to diminish Machado’s joy at being an All-Star again.
”To see the guys around the clubhouse, it’s pretty awesome,” Machado said. ”It’s always a blessing to be here. No one will ever take away how much fun I’m going to have these two days.”
He insists he’s not thinking about whether Tuesday night might be his last in Orioles attire.
”No, no. I’m putting it on and I’m going to represent the organization in the right way,” Machado said. ”If it is, it is. If not Tomas Hertl Jersey , I’ll be there on Friday (in Toronto), back with my teammates.”
Machado would be a solid addition to any contender. He converted from third base to shortstop this season, and has played the position well enough to easily win the fan vote at the position.
”People didn’t think I should have made the move in my walk year, but I did. I’m going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop,” Machado said.
By far the best performer on a very bad team, Machado leads the Orioles in batting average (.315), home runs (24), RBIs (65) and walks (45).
”We’ll see where he ends up in the next week or two,” Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich said. ”I know we’re one of the teams rumored to be in to get him.”
DeGrom (5-4, 1.68 ERA) would be a welcome addition to any team. The righty wants to win but would prefer it be with the Mets.
”I’ve been here my whole career and really enjoyed my time,” he said. ”I want to get back to where we were in ’15 (a playoff year). I don’t think there’s any better place to win.”
That’s exactly how Happ feels.
”If I could have my choice, I’d like to win with the Jays,” he said. ”That’s my focus until it changes.”
Hand (24 saves) won’t waste time thinking about the possibility of being dealt by the Padres.
”I feel like I’ve been asked my thoughts on being traded for the past year-and-a-half now,” he said. ”Nothing happened last year, so I don’t think my mindset is going to change. I try not to worry about that kind of stuff.”
Aaron Slegers and Jake Cave have been called up from Triple-A by the Minnesota Twins three times apiece this season, and the All-Star break is still more than one week away.
Their contributions to this struggling team on Thursday night were sure worthy of a longer stay.
Slegers picked up his first major league win with six smooth innings, Cave reached base all four times he batted, and the Twins stopped their six-game losing streak by hanging on for a 5-2 victory over the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
”I know that I think, and I know Slegers thinks the same thing, that we can play big league baseball,” Cave said. ”We’re ready to go anytime the team needs us, and that’s just kind of how you’ve got to think of it.”
Logan Morrison homered and Cave drove in an eighth-inning insurance run with one of his two doubles for the Twins, who turned to Fernando Rodney in the ninth for his 18th save following two consecutive blown chances. Slegers (1-0) gave up only one run, on the first of two homers by Jonathan Schoop.
”It’s fun to have that in the stat column, to be a major league winner,” Slegers said. ”I can say that for the rest of my life.”
With eight right-handers in the Orioles lineup, except for Chris Davis, Slegers put his sinker to good use against the second-lowest scoring team in MLB. The Orioles managed just three hits against the 6-foot-10 Slegers, who was the latest to fill the recently revolving fifth spot in the rotation. Manager Paul Molitor stopped short of a commitment, but he indicated Slegers earned another turn after needing only 72 pitches to complete those six innings in his first major league start this season.
”Sometimes you make tough decisions to protect those young guys when they’ve had good outings and make sure they feel good when they come out of the game Logan Cooke Jersey ,” Molitor said.
The Orioles squandered another quality start by Andrew Cashner (2-9) and lost for the 10th time in 11 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 24-62, just the team the Twins needed to face to start a season-long 11-game homestand after a pivotal 1-8 road trip.
Trailing AL Central-leading Cleveland by 11 1/2 games, Minnesota has become a probable seller before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 with several accomplished players on expiring contracts. Baltimore has essentially been in that boat since April, with slugging shortstop Manny Machado widely considered the best asset on the market this summer.
Cashner, one of the offseason acquisitions by the Orioles that suggested their commitment to contending in the daunting AL East, has had more than three runs scored for him in only one of his 17 starts this year. He gave up three runs, two earned, and six hits.
”It’s not like we didn’t want to score for him,” Schoop said. ”I hope things start changing.”
Orioles starters have received the least amount of run support in the major leagues this season.
”I probably had the worst stuff I’ve had this season, but I thought I just grinded throughout the game,” Cashner said. ”When you’re not scoring runs, I feel like I keep my mind sharp on what I want to do out there and thinking pitch to pitch.”
Cashner was charged with an error in the third, when he was covering first base on a chopper hit by Bobby Wilson to Davis and fumbled the relay toss to let Cave score from second. Wilson eventually scored on a single by Eddie Rosario.
Rodney struck out Davis to start a perfect ninth, pushing the sputtering slugger into a first-place tie on the Orioles list for strikeouts with 1,305. He is tied with Cal Ripken Jr., who played 3,001 games for Baltimore. Davis has appeared in 972 contests.
Cave, who was recalled from Rochester last week, made a fully extended catch at the wall in right-center to take a potential extra-base hit away from Davis in the fourth inning. Cave doubled twice, driving in one run, to go with a single and an intentional walk.
”He can really flash it out there,” Slegers said.
Orioles: RHP Darren O’Day (strained left hamstring) has been scheduled for his season-ending surgery on July 12. He’ll need six months to recover.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, who has started 80 of 84 games and appeared in all but one this season, went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .218.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (6-7, 3.75 ERA) will come off the DL to start Friday night. Bundy has been sidelined by a sprained left ankle.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (5-7, 5.49 ERA) will take the mound in the second game of the series, coming off his worst turn of the season. He gave up seven runs in Chicago to the Cubs in just 1 2/3 innings.