BALTIMORE — The Yankees don’t need to be sold on how good Manny Machado is.
Nevertheless, the All-Star shortstop put on quite a show Tuesday, blasting a pair of game-tying homers in a 6-5 Orioles win at Camden Yards.
The outburst came a day after renewed discussions between the two teams about Machado became public — and on the same night reports surfaced the Red Sox had also “checked in” on the star.
Baltimore owner Peter Angelos has been hesitant in the past to make big trades within the AL East, but the Orioles and Red Sox have struck deals before.
“I have a lot of confidence that if and when Manny is traded that [executive vice president] Dan [Duquette] and his people and the scouts and everything will get the best return they can possibly get,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said before the game. “If it happens to be with that team that we’re playing tonight, then so be it. I’ll leave that in their hands. I have a lot of confidence they will do what’s best for the organization.”
Machado hit a 444-foot blast off Masahiro Tanaka to lead off the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-3 and then added a second homer to right off Chad Green that glanced off Aaron Judge’s glove for a two-run homer to knot the game at 5-5 in the seventh.
The Yankees walked Machado intentionally with one out in the ninth to load the bases for Mark Trumbo, who whiffed. The Orioles then won it on Jonathan Schoop’s single that was misplayed by Greg Bird.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius understands the reality of the situation. He was asked about the links between the Yankees and Machado during spring training and knows they have resurfaced as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. His attitude hasn’t changed, however.
“If they made the move, we’ll see what happens,’’ Gregorius said before the game. “I don’t think about it. It’s not hard to put out of your mind because things are always going to pop up at some point.”
Typically, though, those things don’t include one of the best players in the game being on the trade market with an expressed desire to remain at your position.
If the Yankees did land Machado, they could almost certainly convince him to shift to third base for the rest of the year. Whether he would agree to stay there beyond this season once he becomes a free agent seems less likely, especially because he was adamant Monday he “is a shortstop.”
Gregorius won’t be a free agent until the 2020 season.
In the meantime, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told The Post’s Joel Sherman on Tuesday he considers third base “a strength” and pointed to Miguel Andujar, Brandon Drury and even Gleyber Torres as reasons why. He also reiterated his focus remained on bolstering starting pitching.
That hardly takes the Yankees out of the Machado sweepstakes, with the 26-year-old heading out of Baltimore by the end of the month.
And Andujar’s surprising rookie season hardly presents an impossible roadblock to the addition of Machado.
Andujar has slowed down offensively in the past month. Though he walked, singled and scored Tuesday, he entered the game 20-for-94 with five doubles, four homers and just three walks to go with 18 strikeouts. It’s a 25-game stretch in which his OPS is just .639. That’s hardly a sign the Yankees need an upgrade at the position, but it shows that while very promising, Andujar is not on Machado’s level.
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