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Manny Machado Will Shift To Shortstop For Orioles In 2018

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Though he won’t be changing teams, Baltimore Orioles slugger Manny Machado will be changing positions in 2018.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Machado will move to shortstop, his natural position, in 2018.

“He’s going to play shortstop,” confirmed Showalter on Saturday at Orioles FanFest on Saturday.

Tim Beckham will trade positions with Machado, sliding from short to third on the diamond. Baltimore acquired Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays during last year’s trade deadline, and he hit .306 with 10 homers in 216 at-bats for the Orioles down the stretch.

“I’m open to (moving to third base), especially if it helps the team,” said Beckham during FanFest to MLB.com. “The end goal is to win ballgames and we don’t want to lose sight of that. I don’t want to make this a big deal. I’ll just transition over there, continue to make the plays and be consistent.”

Beckham, 28, has only five career starts at the hot corner, and none since 2016, according to BaltimoreBaseball.com’s Paul Folkemer.

Despite being drafted as a shortstop by the Orioles in 2008, Machado has appeared in only 52 games (45 in 2016) there during his six years with Baltimore.

J.J. Hardy has been the primary shortstop for the Orioles in his years as Machado’s teammate, but his departure for free agency opened up the opportunity for the change.

“Manny’s basically played shortstop in the shift for three or four years,” said Showalter. “I think we’re moving Manny back to his natural position. And Tim’s been playing a lot of places. So I know how important Manny is to our team, and I think he can be the most impactful there, especially with the loss of J.J.”

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Machado has expressed a desire to play shortstop as long as he’s been part of the Orioles’ organization.

“He always has (been interested), since the day he signed,” said Showalter back in December. “To say that Manny and I haven’t had conversations about it over the years, I wouldn’t be truthful.”

American League

Blue Jays Have “Legitimate Interest” In Jake Odorizzi

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Jake Odorizzi

The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to make a splash in free agency and have their sights set on pitcher Jake Odorizzi, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi.

The Blue Jays have already conducted a sit-down meeting with Odorizzi’s agents.

Odorizzi, 29, is coming off come off arguably the best season of his career with the Minnesota Twins last season.

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American League

Rangers to Target Top Free Agents

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Jon Daniels

The Texas Rangers are entering the offseason with plans of targeting some of the top tier free agents that will be available.

Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels made it clear that he was ready to bring the Rangers back as a major player in the free agent market.

“This year, we are going to look at everything,” Daniels said, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant. “Our goal is to get better, period. There are a couple of spots more [available] than others. We have signed [top free agents] before and at some point I have to suspect we will again.”

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Yankees’ Brian Cashman Talks Gerrit Cole, Offseason Plans

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Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees expect to be busy this offseason, as they usually are, and among the teams trying to lure Gerrit Cole to join their rotation.

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman discussed Cole, as well as the upcoming offseason for the Bronx Bombers.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, Cashman says that the Yankees will engage with both Houston Astros hurler Gerrit Cole and World Series Champion Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.

However, Cashman added that the Yankees already have a significant amount of money on the books, according to Newsday’s Erik Boland.

Cashman added that the Yankees will also explore the trade market, much like they did last season when they acquired James Paxton from the Seattle Seahawks, according to the New York Times’ James Wagner.

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