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O's to play Machado at SS, Beckham at 3B

Manny Machado will play shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles this season after spending the majority of his career at third base.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Machado will switch positions Saturday during the team's FanFest.

"There could be some adjustments if we don't like the feel of it, but that's where we're going to head into it," Showalter said.

Tim Beckham, who has primarily played shortstop throughout his career, will swap positions with Machado and play third base, according to Showalter.

The 25-year-old Machado broke into professional baseball at shortstop as the third overall pick in the June 2010 first-year player draft. The three-time All-Star moved to third base as a rookie in 2013 in deference to veteran shortstop J.J. Hardy, and he has won two Gold Gloves at the position.

Machado finished in a tie for ninth among MLB third basemen in 2017 with six defensive runs saved, according to Baseball Info Solutions.

He avoided arbitration this month by agreeing to a $16 million contract for 2018. He received $11.5 million last season.

Dan Duquette, vice president of baseball operations for the Orioles, has to decide whether to deal Machado sometime between now and September or seek to sign him to a long-term deal.

"That's a big decision for the organization, obviously," Duquette said. "But we're planning on Manny being with the club. We explored all those options. We think the strongest option is for Manny to be on the ballclub."

Showalter said last month that he had talked to Machado about a possible return to shortstop. Machado, who was the subject of widespread trade speculation earlier this offseason, had expressed a desire to play shortstop since joining the Orioles organization.

The manager acknowledged Saturday that Beckham, 28, also would prefer to play shortstop.

"Tim's big thing is getting an opportunity to play every day at one position," Showalter said. "We need to settle both those guys into a spot and let them get into it."

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beckham enjoyed a breakout 2017 season with a career-high 22 home runs. After a July 31 trade with Tampa Bay, Beckham thrived in 50 games last season with Baltimore, batting .306 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs.

Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop did not attend Saturday's FanFest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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O's to play Machado at SS, Beckham at 3B


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