LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Baltimore Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has long been adamant that he didn't want to trade All-Star third baseman Manny Machado.
However, as the second day of the MLB Winter Meetings came to an end Dec. 12, Duquette admitted the Orioles would at least listen to offers for Machado, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the 2018 season.
"There's a lot of interest in Manny," Duquette said. "And a couple of clubs requested a meeting, so we met with a couple of clubs specifically on that issue. We're going to continue to explore the market and see where it takes us.
"... I think we got a better gauge about the market for some of our players. There seems to be significant interest."
There's been speculation that Machado, 25, could be worth as much as $300 million on the open market. The biggest deal the Orioles have consummated was a seven-year, $161 million contract for first baseman Chris Davis in January 2016.
Duquette said he has not had recent discussions with Machado's agent, Dan Lozano, about a long-term contract for some time.
"I talk to Machado's agent periodically," Duquette said. "We have not explored a long-term agreement with Manny since we tried a couple of years ago.
"... That's obviously a big decision for the Orioles' organization, so it's still under consideration ."
If Machado returns to the Orioles in 2018, he could play shortstop. In his media session with reporters, manager Buck Showalter said Machado has long expressed a desire to play there in the future but didn't want to because of the admiration he had for longtime shortstop J.J. Hardy, whose contract expired after the 2017 season.
"One of the reasons we brought Jonathan [Schoop] and him up early is to play alongside J.J. and jumpstart their development in a lot of areas," Showalter said. "Manny has not only respect for J.J. but also for Tim Beckham and other people."
The Orioles acquired Beckham July 31, hoping he would be Hardy's long-term replacement at shortstop.
"Obviously, we're not there yet," Showalter said. "Manny's capable of playing both [third and short] real well. I think, so is Tim."
Machado signed with the Orioles in 2010 as a shortstop and played there in the minor leagues. When he joined the Orioles in August 2012, he moved to third and has played there since -- with the exception of six starts in 2015 and 43 in 2016 when Hardy was hurt.
Last season when Hardy missed more than two months with a broken wrist, Machado remained at third base.
"J.J. was coming back at some point," Showalter said. "I just thought Manny was and is so good at third base and will be again that the timing wasn't right."
Showalter said he has spoken with Machado but didn't want to publicly reveal his position yet.
He also said he wasn't planning to move Adam Jones from center to right field in 2018. Machado, Jones and Showalter all have contracts that end after the season.
Showalter did express a desire to continue as the Orioles' manager beyond 2018. "Sure, sure," he said.