Orioles manager confirms move for Manny Machado

Baltimore's star player has been the center of various rumors this winter

Manny Machado

Manny Machado | AP

Manny Machado will start at shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles this season — if he isn’t traded.

Machado becomes a free agent after this year and is sure to demand a huge contract. The Orioles have entertained trade offers for the 25-year-old, who’s been an All-Star in half of his six seasons with Baltimore.

But Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, said Saturday that he expects Machado to be part of the team in 2018.

A two-time Gold Glove winner at third base, Machado will move to shortstop in 2018, manager Buck Showalter said at FanFest, an annual offseason event designed to promote interest in the club.

Following the retirement of shortstop J.J. Hardy, Showalter believes the Orioles will be better defensively if the slick-fielding Machado plays in the middle of the infield.

Tim Beckham, who came to the team in July and took over as the starting shortstop, will move to third base.

Machado did not attend FanFest.