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The Orioles have definitely moved on from trading Manny Machado, unless they haven't

Depending on which beat writer you ask, the Orioles have turned the page on trading Manny Machado and moved on - or they haven't closed the door yet.

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

None of the other 29 MLB teams will be getting Manny Machado in their stockings for Christmas. The artificial deadline apparently imposed by Dan Duquette of Thursday has come and gone and according to The Baltimore Sun, Duquette is moving along: "The team has some other priorities. We need to focus on some of the ways that we can add to the ballclub."

This follows after what Duquette told MASN's Roch Kubatko on Wednesday in the wake of the news of Zach Britton's Achilles injury. Duquette was singing a similar tune then: "I'm not sure we're going to focus on that much after tomorrow."

We are nearly to the end of that tomorrow and Duquette sounds like he's putting the whole matter to rest. He's not wrong that the Orioles need to focus on improving the team. He might have noticed he just had the worst starting rotation in all of MLB last season.

Yet within 20 minutes of The Sun publishing that article seeming to settle the Machado question, Kubatko weighed in further:

It's worth noting that these are not necessarily conflicting pieces of information. Duquette was not quoted saying, "We're not trading Machado and he'll be on our team next year." The Orioles might finally tackle the free agent pitching market while still letting teams know that they'll listen about Machado.

The wisdom of all of this is something that will be debated for some time. Not knowing what kinds of offers teams were making, it's tough to say for sure whether the Orioles should or shouldn't have made the trade, but with or without Machado, the team still has just two starting pitchers and many of the good options for pitching in their price range are gone.

Reality will catch up to the Orioles eventually. For now, they can pretend. In another month when we know who they have and haven't signed, we'll know how long they plan to keep pretending about next season.

So that's the last word on Machado for now. They're moving on from trading him, except that they're not moving on and they're still waiting to see if another team offers something better. I'm glad we got that straightened out.