WASHINGTON — Manny Machado sat for nearly 45 minutes Monday afternoon and mostly addressed his future.
A future that, by most accounts, will include him departing the Orioles at some point before the July 31 trade deadline.
The 26-year-old All-Star shortstop expressed no preferences of where he’s dealt — and that includes the Yankees, to whom he’s been linked though there’s never been agreement in the industry of just how serious the Bombers are. The Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers are also in the mix.
His primary hope is that a deal happens sooner rather than later.
The uncertainty, Machado said, is “the worst” part of the process.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “This game’s already hard enough as it is. To go out there and not know where you’re going to be tomorrow is kind of tough.”
Machado, a four-time All-Star, is having one of his best seasons, hitting .315 with a .387 on-base percentage with 24 homers and 65 RBIs. His preferred position is shortstop but he’s stated he’d be open to playing third again if that’s what his new team wanted.
Machado, though he grew up a Yankees’ fan — Alex Rodriguez was his favorite player — was asked point blank if he’s thought of playing in pinstripes.
“I really don’t to be honest,” said Machado, whom the Orioles drafted third overall in the 2010 draft. “I think about putting on this uniform every day. I can’t think of anything else. Once I put on this jersey, I’m an Oriole. I bleed this.”
But probably not for much longer, and all Machado, who debuted in 2012 as a 19-year-old, has asked of Orioles general manager Dan Duquette is to be kept “in the loop” of the talks.
“Dan’s been doing a really good job trying to keep us informed as much as he can,” Machado said. “Obviously we always want more. Just let me know what’s going on. But we get it [he’s limited]. We respect it.”
Is there a team he doesn’t want to be traded to?
“Honestly, that’s a tough question, a very tough question,” he said. “I’d like to stay at home. I’d like to stay with the organization I’ve been with and not learning new faces, new names. I’m not good with names. That would be nice.”
The benefit, of course, would be his insertion into a pennant race wherever he goes, something the last-place Orioles aren’t close to being in. And won’t be for a while.
“Whatever happens, I’m going to do everything I can to try and help that team win,” Machado said. “The majority of those teams [looking to trade for him] are probably going to be in the playoffs, so hopefully I can get them to a championship and get them a ring.”