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Manny Machado expected to play shortstop in 2018

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 07: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a fly ball out to left field in the second inning during a MLB baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 7, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE– It appears that the Baltimore Orioles will give Manny Machado his wish: a chance to play his former position of shortstop.

Machado, 25, has played mostly third base since making his Major League debut in 2012.

However, the young infielder was drafted as a shortstop, and mostly played that position in the minor leagues.

Machado does have some experience playing shortstop at the Major League level, filling in for SS J.J. Hardy while he was on the shelf with injuries.

After requesting to return to the position earlier this off season, Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter confirmed late last month that Machado will play shortstop in 2018.

IF Tim Beckham is expected to see the majority of reps at third base this season.

The position change comes on the heels of an off season in which Machado was often rumored to be traded, as he is entering the last year of his contract.

Thus far, Machado has bucked any extension talks by the Orioles, and is known to want to test MLB Free Agency at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Last year, Machado hit .259 with 33 HRs and 95 RBIs.