NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees don’t seem to share the popular belief that the rival Orioles would never trade slugger Manny Machado within the division, let alone to the Bronx.
According to WFAN baseball insider and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Bombers contacted the O’s again this week in the hopes of acquiring the star third baseman and adding him to their devastating lineup.
Though the Orioles have not received any offers yet that satisfy their demands, Heyman reported there are several reasons why the Bombers haven’t moved on.
New York has many top prospects who could pique the interest of seemingly rebuilding Baltimore and is approximately $20 million under the luxury tax threshold for 2018, factors that could allow general manager Brian Cashman to get overly aggressive if necessary. On top of that, the Yankees have a strong belief that Machado may desire New York, which would give them the inside track on signing the third baseman, who won’t turn 26 until July, to a long-term deal if or even before he becomes a free agent next season.
The idea of adding Machado, who had 33 home runs and 95 RBIs in 2017 and has a .279 average with 138 homers and 406 RBIs over his six major league seasons, to a lineup that already has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez seems unfair. But the Yankees have made it no secret they have their eyes set on winning the World Series in 2018. If they happen to sign Machado after next season, they will be absolutely loaded for years.
Right now, the Yankees are projected to have 22-year-old Miguel Andujar at third to begin the 2018 season, but could instead choose to use him as a trade chip. That’s not to say he’d be in an offer for Machado, but Andujar is considered one of the Yankees’ best prospects, along with outfielder Clint Frazier and pitchers Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams.
New York has made it clear that top prospect Gleyber Torres is untouchable. The 21-year-old is expected to play a lot for the Yankees next season, most likely at second base.
In the event the Yankees do eventually move on from Machado this season, they could go with Andujar, re-sign Todd Frazier or trade for another veteran to play third.
The Yankees have also been rumored to be in the market for another starting pitcher. It is unknown how a trade for Machado, who will make $11.5 million next season, could impact that pursuit. New York has reportedly expressed interest in Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole, Detroit ace Michael Fulmer and Arizona lefty Patrick Corbin, and has been linked to free agent Yu Darvish.