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Rick Renteria: Manny Machado said he’d play ‘wherever we need him’

A prevailing belief related to Manny Machado’s free-agency odyssey is that the superstar’s decision on where to sign will be predicated on which position the team wants him to play. According to Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria, that may not necessarily be the case.

Machado is said to have long stated a preference to play shortstop, despite winning two Gold Gloves at third base during his time with the Baltimore Orioles. Some teams interested in signing him, however, have reportedly had visions of playing him at the hot corner.

Renteria disputed that notion, saying this week that Machado expressed a willingness to play any position during the team’s meeting with the free agent, which Renteria said went “great.”

“This young man has said that he will play wherever we need him to play to help us win,” Renteria said on NBC Sports Chicago’s “SportsTalk Live” Thursday. “So I’m not worried about where he’s going to play. He knows the makeup of the roster, he knows who we have on the field. I’ll just leave it at that and say that this kid wants to be a participant and will do whatever it takes to help a major league ball club win championships.”

Earlier this week, Renteria went out of his way to praise Machado while discussing the free-agent slugger at a team function. The White Sox skipper downplayed the belief Machado has issues with effort level due to comments he made during the postseason.

It certainly appears that the White Sox are making a strong push to sign Machado, and with the other superstar slugger still on the market reportedly leaning toward another team, perhaps the ChiSox will land their own free-agency prize.