The Orioles are in Chicago to play the White Sox, and given recent reports about the Cubs’ interest in trading for the superstar, you can’t really blame the media for asking him questions about it (and about his looming free agency, which could also implicate the White Sox).
As expected, Machado wasn’t going to give anything up.
“I go out there and play baseball. I’m not getting distracted by any of this,” Machado told the AP. “All these talks, rumors, they’re all rumors and talks. At the end of the day I got to go out there and perform and win games for this ballclub. We’re trying to make a push for things and we’re a little behind, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward.”
The Orioles are not going to be competitive this year, and Machado will absolutely be traded, but that notwithstanding, I have no problem with him taking the Bryce Harper route and not discussing hypotheticals.
He did, however, mention his good friend – borderline family – Albert Almora Jr., and the possibility of playing together some day:
Just as with Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper, the friendship connection isn’t going to be THE reason Machado would sign with the Cubs if they pursued him. Instead, it’s one of many factors that might get them more seriously considered *if* they were willing to get their contract offer into the range of acceptable. It’s a nice bonus to have available, and one that not every pursuer can boast.
Meanwhile, the Machado speculation, rumors, and hoopla will linger through the Trade Deadline and on into the offseason. Certain Cubs fans were out at Guaranteed Rate yesterday to pass along the message:
A message to Manny Machado from a couple of Cubs fans at the White Sox game… pic.twitter.com/FtrDHDkVzU
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) May 22, 2018