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American League

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

White Sox Acquire Ivan Nova

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The Chicago White Sox have acquired right handed starter Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Pirates will receive a “young pitcher” and an unstated amount of international bonus pool availability in return for Nova.

Nova posted a 9-9 record with a 4.19 ERA last season for the Pirates.

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American League

Yankees “Open To Moving” Miguel Andujar

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The New York Yankees have a future superstar in Miguel Andujar, a fan favorite, yet they have been constantly linked to rumors of being open to dealing him, despite his huge rookie season.

This one, just doesn’t make much sense if the plan is to move Andujar to make room for the likes of Manny Machado.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray, the Yankees are “open to moving” Andjuar via trade, but there is no clear trade path to reference at this time.

This development clearly shows the Yankees desire to sign Machado to a free agent deal.

The Yankees and Mets have also been linked in a potential deal that could see Noah Syndergaard end up in New York, with Andujar on his way out.

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American League

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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