Former Mets GM and current MLB.com columnist Jim Duquette believes it would be wise for the Yankees to deal top prospect Gleyber Torres to the Orioles for game-changing third baseman Manny Machado.
The timeline for the Yankees rebuild has been sped up — we know this. The one thing that hasn’t changed, is the organization’s interest in potentially securing Manny Machado once he hits free agency following the 2018 season.
As we wait for Brian Cashman to sign a new contract to remain as general manager, appoint a successor to Joe Girardi and hopefully win the bidding on two-way star Shohei Ohtani, Jim Duquette has floated an interesting idea to keep the masses busy in time for the Winter Meetings, which officially get underway on Dec 9.
In his column on MLB.com, the ex-Mets general manager opines that trading Gleyber Torres, the top overall prospect in baseball, to the Orioles, for a once-in-a-generation talent like Manny Machado, is a move that would immediately benefit both clubs.
"Trading Machado within the division to New York would be a tough sell to the O’s fan base, but the Yankees are a perfect fit for Machado, given that they don’t have a long-term solution at the hot corner and will likely be a front-runner for his services next year when he hits free agency. If the Yanks would part with shortstop Gleyber Torres, the No. 1 prospect in the game who is coming off Tommy John surgery, that would make it enticing for the Orioles. Both sides would be equally uncomfortable in a deal like that, which usually means it makes plenty of sense."
Obviously, as much as Yankees’ fans worldwide want Machado in pinstripes, trading away part of the future to get him, would result in widespread fear and loathing.
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The main point of contention is that the Bombers could simply wait until after next season to scoop up the three-time All-Star, and only lose two draft picks worth of compensation.
But what if the Orioles somehow convince the 25-year-old Machado to accept an outlandish contract extension long before next winter?
Though it’s likely the two-time Gold Glove winner wants to experience free agency before settling in for the long haul, stranger things and $200 million-plus offers have happened.
The price for Machado would be steep. But adding a player who just hit 33 bombs, 95 RBI and posted a 3.5 WAR, all while yet entering the prime of his career, offers the Yankees a real shot of dethroning the reigning World Series champion Houston Astros in 2018.
Coming off of Tommy John surgery in his non-throwing elbow last June, Torres is expected to be fit in time for spring training, but will likely need a few months at Triple-A Scranton to readjust to actual game speed.
Everyone knows the 20-year-old Torres can flat-out rake. Yet questions remain about his glove, and where the Yankees will eventually play him.
Unless the Yankees were able to implement an immediate contract extension with Machado as part of any trade-offer, pairing the two infielders in 2019 and beyond should remain the goal.