SARASOTA, Fla. – As Manny Machado became the only major leaguer to play all 162 games last year, he expressed the hope that the Orioles would be aggressive in keeping the team together.
The Orioles were aggressive, and the 23-year-old third basemen says he wasn’t surprised by the team returning the big names.
“I’m actually not. I knew we had to do something. The front office has been working on making this ballclub the best team out there on the field, and I think they’re accomplishing that. Obviously we really didn’t bring new faces in here, but I don’t think we need new faces,” Machado said.
“You bring those guys back who are going to help this team no matter what. It makes this team much better, makes us stronger. We’re just looking forward to playing together again.”
Machado, who is free of the health worries that plagued him a year ago when he was six months removed from his second knee surgery in a year, is still three years away from free agency. He hopes to remain here.
“They’re trying to keep everybody here. That’s good for me. I hope they keep me here long-term. But the case is you can’t sign everybody. You can’t bring everybody back. It’s just part of the business,” Machado said.
“I think we have one of the best clubhouses in the game. I’m just fortunate to be a part of it and hopefully I’m here for a long time.”
Chris Davis’ seven-year, $161 million contract was nearly twice the team’s record contract.
“I mean there’s hope. That brings out hope,” Machado said. “It just brings me hope that they’re trying to keep everybody here and hopefully they can come up with something and we can make something happen.”
Machado is hoping to play every game this season.
“I’m going to do everything possible to play every game. It was a great accomplishment last year. I enjoyed it. It was awesome. I was able to say I was the only one to do it,” Machado said.
“And at the end of the day, it’s a great accomplishment at the end of the day that you can play 162.”