Baltimore — For well over six seasons, Manny Machado’s value to the Baltimore Orioles has been solely his ability to hit and play the field.
All that has changed, now that the Orioles are looking to receive a huge return for their All-Star shortstop in a blockbuster trade.
Machado homered before being removed on a wet day, Adam Jones hit a three-run double and Baltimore rallied past the Texas Rangers 6-5 Sunday.
Machado was taken out of the game in the fifth inning by manager Buck Showalter after a 26-minute rain delay. The move was designed to get their star player off a sloppy field, because the last-place Orioles are entertaining offers for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
“Obviously there’s a different situation going on with Manny. You all know that,” Showalter said. “That had a lot to do with it.”
Plain and simple, the Orioles can’t afford to have Machado get hurt. Now, more than ever.
“A month ago he wouldn’t have come out of the game,” Showalter acknowledged. “We know that. You know it.”
After being replaced by Jace Peterson, Machado sat in the dugout, wearing a sweatshirt and joking with his teammates.
“I don’t know why (Showalter) did it or not,” Machado said. “He just told me, ‘I’m going to take you out. You had a good first half and go represent us well in the All-Star Game.’”
Machado is Baltimore’s lone representative for Tuesday’s showcase. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore, but his contract expires after this season and the Orioles don’t appear interested in locking him up with a long-term deal.
“I’m going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop. It’s just always a blessing,” Machado said. “I thank God. I thank my family for always supporting me, my teammates, the fans, the organization.”
MLB All-Star Game
When: 8 Tuesday
Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Tigers: Their representative is reliever Joe Jimenez
Home Run Derby: 8 Monday (ESPN)