Manny Machado will be the American League’s starting shortstop on Tuesday.
He’ll be wearing a Baltimore Orioles jersey.
Both his uniform and position could be a matter of days away from changing.
As expected during Monday’s All-Star Game Workout Day, the 26-year old Machado, a former star at Brito Miami Private School, sat for nearly an hour answering a flurry of questions from the media speculating at where he will continue his baseball career.
“I’m not really thinking about anything moving forward,” Machado said. “I can’t control any of that stuff. I can only enjoy today.”
Machado switched to shortstop in this, his seventh major-league season, and enters the All-Star break slashing a career-best .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI, which is on pace to surpass his career-highs in those categories.
And this all while the Orioles, the only major-league team he’s ever played for, has an MLB-worst 69 losses at the break.
As the week began, multiple reports surfaced that the Orioles were “very close” to trading Machado to a contending team with the Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers all mentioned as likely candidates.
Machado, who began his career as a third baseman, may be asked to switch back to that position by one of those teams. But Machado has made it clear his preference would be to remain at shortstop.
“It’s going to be out of my hands, but everybody knows my heart is at shortstop. Hopefully I can continue to do that the rest of my career. I’m going to continue to be myself and enjoy myself and go out there and leave it on the field.”
Yan Gomes, then with the Toronto Blue Jays, made history in 2012 becoming the first Brazilian-born player to play in a major league game.
Gomes, now with the Cleveland Indians, is a pioneer once again this week becoming the first Brazilian to earn an All-Star selection.
Gomes, a graduate of Miami Southridge High who also played a portion of his college career at Barry University, was a late replacement on the American League roster once the Rays’ Wilson Ramos was unable to compete due to injury.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Gomes said. “I try to do my best in representing Brazil and just to show the kind of talent we have [in baseball]. I hope this is a step in the right direction for baseball in Brazil and if they can use me as a resource for anything, I’m all for it.”
Gomes found out when he walked up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s home game against the Yankees. Gomes was introduced on the loudspeakers at Progressive Field as an All-Star.
“In high school and even in college, you have your dreams but you don’t think this far ahead. Being able to represent the Miami area, Barry University and definitely being the first Brazilian is an honor,” Gomes said.
Machado, Gomes and Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will be the AL’s designated hitter and hit in the cleanup spot, are the South Florida representatives at this year’s All-Star Game.
Martinez, a Pembroke Pines Flanagan alum, is having an MVP-caliber year in his first season in Boston with a major-league best 29 home runs and 80 RBI at the All-Star break.