The Baltimore Orioles have not played well this season and because of that, one of the big questions concerning the team heading into the year has seemingly been answered.
Leading up to the 2018 season, there were questions about whether or not the Orioles would move star infielder Manny Machado.
After all, Machado is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and he is widely expected to sign with a different team in the offseason.
Had the Orioles gotten off to a better start and hung around even just the Wild Card race, there would seemingly be an argument to be made that they should hang on to Machado for as long as they can, try to make a push for the playoffs and hope that they do well enough that he surprisingly decides to re-sign with the team.
The way this year has gone for the Orioles, though, it almost seems certain that Machado will soon be a former member of the team.
Recently, the conversations concerning the Orioles and Machado have even started to revolve around when the two sides will officially separate.
That's because any mystery surrounding whether the Orioles will or will not trade Machado has dissipated.
Commenting on the Machado matter while speaking to some members of the media recently, Orioles' general manager Dan Duquette said that the situation "will take care of itself," The Baltimore Sun reported.
Duquette didn't exactly come out and say that they will be trading Machado soon, but that was basically the message he was conveying.
As much as the Orioles surely dislike the idea of trading away such a talented player in Machado, they may not really have much of a choice.
Keeping him on the team past the trade deadline just doesn't make a lot of sense since they are likely going to continue losing games with or without his name in the lineup.
Furthermore, the Orioles also need to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.
In Machado, the Orioles have the kind of player who can fetch a significant prospect return in a trade and that's true even if he is going to be a free agent at the end of the year.
Machado is such an extraordinary talent on both sides of the ball that there will likely be multiple contenders out there who will see him as the player who can help them get over the hump.
That's good news for the Orioles. If a bidding war ensues, they can just trade Machado to whichever franchise offers the best package and go from there.
And fans should make no mistake, the Orioles need as many quality young players as they can get.
The Major League roster does not feature a lot of high upside young players, and their farm system only has two players who cracked MLB.com's Top 100 list.
Parting with Machado will be a bittersweet moment for the Orioles and their fans, but given the way things have gone, it is the right move to make for both sides.