PHILADELPHIA - Orioles shortstop Manny Machado had his latest interview session with reporters that work in a city where he could be playing in the future. This time the stop is in Philadelphia where the Phillies are one of several teams that could make a strong run to acquire Machado via a trade this month. They could also make a run at signing him as a free agent.
Machado right now is not either allowing himself to think much about the possibility of soon being an ex-Oriole or is not ready to say much publicly about that chance.
“No. I don’t even think about it honestly,” Machado said. “I try to go out there. All I know is we’re in July because it’s my birthday Friday. You know, other than that I just go out there and play. It’s groundhog day for us every day, so we don’t think about it like that. Every day is the same day. Just have to get ready to play.”
Machado was asked if it would be tough to leave the only team he has known and the club that drafted him No. 3. overall in 2010.
“We’ll talk about that when that point comes,” he said. “I don’t want to think about it going that much forward. Just thinking about today.”
Machado said the constant speculation about his future has not been an issue for him.
“No. Once you step on that field, once I step in this clubhouse, I go out to do everything I can. That is the only thing that matters to me. Doing everything I can to help out a team, help out my team. And win some games,” he said.
Does Machado expect to be traded?
“At this point, I have no idea. I’m just trying to play. A lot of things can happen between now and then. I just don’t really know what will happen. Do I want to play for a contending team? Yeah. Do I want to go to the playoffs? Of course I do. For me to go out there and help a team, I don’t know if it will be here or somewhere else, but I’m going to do everything in my power to help a team out.”
Machado was asked his impression of the Phillies and he called them a “good club, young and hungry.” He said he would not be surprised if they aggressively pursued him.
“I know how Andy (MacPhail) works and I’ve seen those guys work and they’ve turned this organization around,” he said.
Machado also re-interated that he wants to continue to play shortstop, not third base. He also was not ready to talk about the possibility of signing a contract extension this summer with his new team if he is traded. It would be a real surprise to see him not go through free agency next winter.
“That’s a bold question,” Machado said about signing an extension this summer. “Like I’ve said, I’m here to play. I’m not here to talk about contracts and anything during the season. I go play and let my agent handle the rest.”
Machado said he has still enjoyed playing this year, even for an Orioles team with the worst record in the majors.
“Of course. I mean, I love these guys in here. I’ve been playing with them for seven years. How can I not like coming into this clubhouse and playing every day? Obviously, it sucks losing. Nobody wants to lose at the end of the day. But that I’m not having fun with the players around me? Of course we are, we’re all having fun,” he said.