WASHINGTON (AP) — Manny Machado could very well be wearing an Orioles uniform for the final time Tuesday night at the All-Star Game.
The pending trade of the Baltimore shortstop is expected to happen soon, probably before the Orioles return following the break to play in Toronto on Friday night.
In the meantime, Machado was the center of attention hours before the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969.
All the speculation, the endless questions and the buzzing around his locker couldn’t put a damper on the All-Star experience for the 26-year-old.
“It’s awesome,” Machado said. “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.”
The trade is going to happen. And soon. (The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31.) But to which team?
The Dodgers? Phillies? Brewers? Several players from those teams expressed hope of having a four-time AL All-Star help them in a playoff push.
“Things are getting serious now,” Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling said. “That’s the kind of bat and the kind of player that you want in your lineup.”
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, a three-time All-Star, said of Machado: “He’s actually one of my favorite players to watch. He’s a great player. If that’s something that happens I think LA would be excited about it and (it would) definitely help our team win more games.”
Machado insisted he knew nothing of a deal.
Answering many of the same queries he’s fielded for months, Machado said: “I haven’t heard anything. I’m just worried about the game today, and whatever happens moving forward will happen. There will be a time and place for everything.”
By the end of the week, he could be wearing a new uniform and playing in a different league.
Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles can’t afford to provide him to a new, huge contract as well as rebuild a team that currently stands in last place in the AL East.
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