Manny Machado Brushes off Trade Rumors: 'We Got Our Ass Kicked Today'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado reacts after grounding out to end the eighth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, Monday, July 9, 2018, in Baltimore. New York won 10-2. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado finds his name in the rumor mill on a daily basis as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer, but he only wants to talk about one thing.

No, not his future. Baseball.

Baltimore split a doubleheader—a 5-4 win in the first game followed by a 10-2 blowout loss in the nightcap—with the New York Yankees on Monday. The results were hardly what anyone wanted to talk to him about...and he wasn't having it.

"Talk to me about the game; talk to me about something useful. Not about rumors. ... I don't talk rumors," Machado told reporters. "I play baseball. We got our ass kicked today. Won the first game, lost the second game. I talk baseball. I'll talk baseball all you want."

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Monday the Yankees are showing "increased interest" in their American League East foe. But with Didi Gregorius cemented at shortstop, the Bronx Bombers would likely ask Machado to move back to third base.

Machado was also asked if he would shift back to third base if traded to a playoff contender, but he would only respond that he's a shortstop.

After being a two-time Gold Glover at third base, his defense has received criticism in his first year back at shortstop. He has eight errors in 2018, which gives him a total of 16 in 142 career games at the position. The Athletic's Eno Sarris even took an in-depth look at the position change recently, noting that looks can be deceiving at first glance.

Despite any struggles in the field, the 26-year-old continues to swing a hot bat. He is hitting .309/.379/.555 with 21 home runs, 20 doubles and 60 RBI.

If Machado is unwilling to return to third this season to help facilitate a trade, his market becomes more limited. Teams such as the Yankees and Cleveland Indians (Francisco Lindor) would have to drop out of the sweepstakes.

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