LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Harold Reynolds is a former Oriole and current analyst for MLB Network. He was part of the network’s original on-air talent roster at its launch in 2009 and has been on the network since.
Reynolds played 12 seasons in the majors and was an Oriole in 1993, the year the club hosted the All-Star Game.
Here are some of Reynolds’ thoughts:
On Machado’s possible move to shortstop: “From what I understand, Manny has been pushing hard to go back to short. I think, at the end of the day, he’ll probably end up being at short if he gets his way. You know, he has had two knee surgeries and that, to me, is the dilemma. If he didn’t have the injuries in the past, you say, ‘No problem. Sure, move him back.’
“Also with the way the game is played now, with all the shifting, where guys are out of position constantly, the shortstop is not the traditional shortstop like it used to be. Maybe you can make that move. It’s really hard when he is so great at third. He is an elite, next-level third baseman and that could make it difficult for them to decide. He could handle short, but honestly, I think the team is better off with him at third.”
If Machado did go to short, would Reynolds move Tim Beckham to third?: “I don’t know if Beckham could handle playing third. I think he’s a pretty good shortstop right now. He hasn’t been as clean mechanically, catching ground balls. But if you get an infield of Beckham, Machado and (Jonathan) Schoop - that’s pretty good. And actually, all three of those could be interchangable parts.”
Should the Orioles take Machado’s opinion into consideration on this decision?: “Oh, yeah. No doubt about it. If it was up to the organization, I am sure they would have made that decision already. Manny is valued, treasured, all the different things you can throw in there. He has some input on this.
“But let’s not be fooled either. I think the big thing driving this is that he is going to be a free agent. His value will be way more as a shortstop. That might be why they are at a bit of a crossroads in the organization right now. Are you going to be able to step out and put Manny in the financial category of a $200 million player and keep your organization moving forward? At the end, he may get moved for all these reasons and not to his fault, but kind of where the club is at. You look at the moves the Yankees made and what they are doing, and it’s going to be to compete with another high-priced guy on their roster.”
Reynolds said if the O’s did deal Machado, it would not signal the start of a fire sale: “I think it won’t be like what the Marlins are going through, where you rebuild like a Houston. With Chris Davis’ contract sitting there, I don’t think that is movable. You are going to have to compete around him. I would love to see Adam Jones come back.
“You can still keep the team there and move Manny. If Manny brings back the right parts, you can keep it going. If not, you can make a long run with Manny and that is a financial commitment. Either way, I think the Orioles will be competitive. They have fought too long to get to where they are at now. They’ve turned the organization around, the fan base, everything. I think they understand that and they have to stay competitive.
“If you trade Manny Machado right now, you might get five players back and three impact young players that will be in your organization for another six years to come.”
So the Orioles could trade Machado and still win in 2018?: “If you trade Manny, it will be (about) what you get back. I don’t want a bunch of minor leaguers. I want young major league-ready talent that can have an impact and continue to keep us moving forward. If they do trade Manny, what they get back will tell us a lot about where the Orioles are headed.”