NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Do the Yankees want Manny Machado or not?
That’s the question many were asking Thursday after a report surfaced the night before saying the Bombers may not be as enthusiastic about signing the superstar slugger as they were a few weeks ago. Several reporters attempted to clarify the situation, saying the Yankees are not out of the running for Machado, but don’t appear inclined to engage in a bidding war for his services.
A tweet from Hector Gomez of ZDeportes stated the race for Machado is down to two teams, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. Writers Jon Heyman and Bob Nightengale were among those to quickly report otherwise, saying the Yankees are still very much involved in the talks for the free agent shortstop, although they urged caution about the New York’s approach to the sweepstakes.
It is believed that Machado’s preferred preference is the Bronx. Reports have suggested he’s always had a thing for the Yankees and that his wife is enamored with the city. Speculation is if the White Sox and Phillies are indeed willing to offer more money and term, Machado would be inclined to still pick the Yankees as long as their offer, whenever an official one comes, is competitive.
Machado, 26, is considered the co-jewel of this offseason’s free agent class, along with Bryce Harper. While the Yankees haven’t expressed much interest in Harper, mostly due to a lack of a fit for him in their outfield, they have stated publicly they want Machado, who is a career .282 hitter with 175 home runs and 513 RBIs.
Despite their apparent desire to lure Machado to New York, that hasn’t stopped the Yankees from addressing their infield needs. With starting shortstop Didi Gregorius expected to miss half of next season while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, general manager Brian Cashman went out and signed veteran infielder Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year contract.
Tulowitzki, right now, is expected to start at short, which means if Machado does sign on the dotted line he will likely play third base. The Yankees would then have to decide what to do with youngster Miguel Andujar, who was a finalist for AL Rookie of the Year in 2018.