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Orioles primed for awards-worthy season

Machado, Trumbo, Gausman, Showalter could collect hardware
March 29, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's never too early for predictions, especially when it comes to awards season. Here's a look at Orioles who could garner consideration for a postseason award or two.Manny Machado Machado is the most likely Oriole to bring home some hardware. He finished fourth and fifth in American

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It's never too early for predictions, especially when it comes to awards season. Here's a look at Orioles who could garner consideration for a postseason award or two.
Manny Machado
Machado is the most likely Oriole to bring home some hardware. He finished fourth and fifth in American League MVP voting the past two seasons, and could become a real contender in 2017.
Machado's main competition figures to be Michael Trout, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve and Jose Cabrera, though guys like Josh Donaldson and Carlos Correa could also be in play. Machado, an early favorite for another Gold Glove, could pass Donaldson for Silver Slugger at third base this season if he continues to improve.
The 24-year-old is coming off career bests in homers and RBIs and could also garner recognition for Esurance Awards: Best Major Leaguer, Best Defender and Best Play (Defense).
Mark Trumbo
The Major League leader in home runs (47) last year, Trumbo will primarily be the team's designated hitter this year. Should his power surge continue, he could vie for the Silver Slugger Award at that spot, with Nelson Cruz jumping to mind as immediate competition. Trumbo could also win Best Hitter, Best Play (Offense) and Best Game in the Esurance Awards. After all, he did homer twice in one inning last year.

Kevin Gausman
A dark horse? Sure. But that's half the fun of preseason predictions. Gausman enters the season as a longshot to win the American League Cy Young Award.
And while there are plenty more established candidates -- Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Aaron Sanchez, Yu Darvish -- Gausman will be the Orioles' Opening Day starter and will get plenty of chances to prove his worth.
The O's and closer Zach Britton were passed over in Cy Young Award voting last season, and it would take a fantastic season for Gausman to enter the ring. But given the way he ended last season and the fantastic spring he's had, it's possible.

Buck Showalter
Showalter finished third in last year's AL Manager of the Year Award voting, and he's also a candidate in '17. A three-time AL Manager of the Year Award winner, Showalter has a chance to win the Esurance Award.
If the O's do exceed expectations, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette could also earn some postseason hardware. He's already a previous winner of the Esurance Award for Executive of the Year and has won the Sporting News award in that category as well.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.