Why the Yankees shouldn’t sign Manny Machado this offseason

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Didi Gregorius
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Didi Gregorius /

Entering this weekend’s series with the Orioles, talk has picked up about the possibility of Manny Machado signing with the Yankees this offseason.

The topic of Machado to the Yankees gained momentum after a spring training game when Aaron Judge uncharacteristically revealed to the media how he told the O’s star he would look good in pinstripes. Of course, the New York media made a big deal out of what was a minor lapse in judgment (no pun intended) and now every time Machado and the O’s come to town all eyes will be on him.

Yesterday, before the Yankees 5-2 loss Machado was expectedly pestered with questions about his future as he gets set to become a free agent after the season. Now that he’s moved from third base to shortstop he was asked about his commitment to staying at the position long-term. Obviously, the questions were an attempt to see if Machado would be ok with switching back to third if the Yankees were to sign him this offseason.

Machado didn’t bite and made it pretty clear that he’s a shortstop now and moving forward according to Zach Braziller of the New York Post.

"“This is not just a move, like you guys like to say, for money purposes. I’m going to get mine. Everybody is going to get theirs. This is where my heart is, where my heart has always been. That’s where I want to be. “I moved over for a reason. I made a commitment to it, and I’m going to stick to it.”"

Machado’s comments weren’t surprising considering this is only his first year as a full-time shortstop, but it was interesting to hear. Whether he’s at third or at short he is going to get paid close to $400 million this offseason, but as we all know the Yankees already have a great shortstop in Didi Gregorius.

If Machado is adamant about staying at shortstop that likely will play a big factor in where he signs and that could leave the Yankees with an interesting decision to make. In my opinion, there is no decision because the answer is simple. If Machado wants to sign with a team and play shortstop than he can do so elsewhere because it shouldn’t be with the Yankees.

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When comparing Didi to Machado I’m sure a lot of people would say that Machado is the better overall player. However, that’s no reason to sign him to a $400 million dollar contract and then essentially kick Didi to the curb by trading him.

First of all, Didi would be cheaper and even though the Yankees should extend him to a big money deal as soon as possible, his contract still won’t be as big as the one Machado will get this offseason.

He’s also an outstanding player in his own right and he’s continued to blossom into a star during his four years in New York. Defensively he’s as good as anyone at the position and at the plate he’s a guy who could hit close to .300 with 30 home runs and over 100 RBI in this Yankee linuep.

When you already have someone in place who is that good what’s the point in spending much more money on a replacement who might not even be the better player? I’m not proclaiming Didi is better than Machado, but the separation between the two is pretty small and financially a move to replace him with Machado wouldn’t be smart at all.

If Machado was willing to move to third it would be a different story, but even then I’m still not sure it’s a wise move. Yes, Machado is still young and in his prime at 25 years old but the kind of contract the Yankees would have to commit to him could hurt their chances of signing their own young stars to long-term deals. At some point, you would think they’re going to have to extend Judge, Sanchez, and Sevy and while those decisions are still a couple years away you want to have the financial flexibility to do so.

There’s also the fact that the current third base situation for the Yankees is pretty solid with a chance to be even better over time. I wrote earlier this week about how acquiring Brandon Dury was a steal and that he could be a breakout star now that he has the opportunity to play every day. Drury himself is only 25 years old and even if he was to falter the Yankees have one of their top prospects in Miguel Andujar waiting in the wings.

The point is that the Yankees are set up at both short and third for the next several years and they would be better off using their millions of dollars on the pitching staff.

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The Yankees would be very fortunate to have a player of Machado’s caliber and he would certainly help them win a lot of games, but they shouldn’t sign him at the cost of losing Didi. Financially it would be a poor decision and it would send a bad message to his teammates and a fan base that has grown to love Didi as much as any Yankee in recent memory.