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Showalter has confidence in Machado at SS

Orioles manager discusses three-time All-Star among other topics
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

BALTIMORE -- Manager Buck Showalter had a staff meeting last week and said Saturday at Orioles FanFest that he doesn't have any anxiety about the organization's quiet offseason.

"If someone else shows up along the way … there are going to be some people out there. But we aren't looking at one signing or two signings [as solving our problems]. I don't have those feelings [of anxiety], especially going down to Spring Training and seeing all the work these guys have done."

BALTIMORE -- Manager Buck Showalter had a staff meeting last week and said Saturday at Orioles FanFest that he doesn't have any anxiety about the organization's quiet offseason.

"If someone else shows up along the way … there are going to be some people out there. But we aren't looking at one signing or two signings [as solving our problems]. I don't have those feelings [of anxiety], especially going down to Spring Training and seeing all the work these guys have done."

Hot Stove Tracker

Showalter, who delivered the big news that Manny Machado would be returning to his original position at shortstop in 2018, doesn't see the persistent trade rumors surrounding the superstar as a distraction. Machado is entering his final season before hitting free agency.

"I talked to Manny. I think he's primed to have a great year for us. All the stars are aligned as well as they can be," Showalter said.

"He knows what's going on. He's going to do well in his career. We'd like for it to be here, but if it's not, it's the lay of the land. We had, I think, the biggest payroll we've ever had with the Orioles last year. I don't covet other teams' players or payrolls, and I'm more interested in how he's going to play this year and what he's going to do for us. Same with Jon [Schoop], Chris [Davis] and Zach [Britton] and all these guys. I don't look at it as a distraction."

Video: Kids Press Conference with Buck Showalter

Showalter, who also joined MLB Network's Hot Stove show on Tuesday, said he's proud of the club's preparation coming out of Spring Training the past few years. The key for the Orioles -- who posted a 15-8 record in April and ended up finishing last in the AL East -- is to maintain it.

"I know how important Manny is to our team, and I think he can be the most impactful to our team [at shortstop]," Showalter said. "Especially with the loss of J.J. [Hardy]. I don't want to underestimate, that's a huge loss. … I know J.J. had some injury issues along the way here, but we had some challenges without J.J. there. And I think Manny is our best option. There' a whole bunch of 'want to' in him to play shortstop."

A big fan of Alabama football, Showalter, who also made sure to note his allegiance to his former school, Mississippi State, also discussed a little college football on the Network.

"People who can win when they are expected to win, it's so hard to [do]," Showalter said of the Crimson Tide's national championship. "I have so much respect for those guys."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado