According to Jon Heyman, there are now reports from Manny Machado’s close friends that he prefers to choose the Yankees in free agency this offseason.
Warning to all Yankees fans: this is an actual report.
Manny Machado was a member of the Orioles his entire baseball career, before being traded as a two-month rental to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18 in a blockbuster move that sent five Dodgers prospects the other way.
Friends of the recently turned 26-year-old Manny Machado suggest that the all-star wants to sign with the Yankees in the offseason, reports Jon Heyman of Fancredsports.com.
He would switch from shortstop to third base to play for the Yankees. Multiple people also close to Machado and his family — who live in Miami — are all in on their love of the Yankees and New York, which fits his big-city preference and desire to get back to the East Coast. He’s said to be OK with Los Angeles, but according to others anyway, apparently views it as a stopover.
The problem is, the Bombers don’t currently have a vacancy at third base as Miguel Andujar has that position covered. Brandon Drury, who the Yanks acquired for insurance in a three-team trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks in February, ended up having severe migraines and blurred vision, forcing the Yankees to place him on the disabled list.
Andujar quickly took over Drury’s spot in the lineup, so general manager Brian Cashman eventually traded Drury, and 23-year-old prospect, OF Billy McKinney to the Blue Jays for LHP, J.A. Happ.
Andujar is putting up AL Rookie of the Year-type numbers, hitting .299 with 20 home runs, 36 doubles and 65 RBIs in 432 at-bats.
Ideally, the move is to shift Andujar from third base to first base, put Machado to his customary third base position, and trade the 25-year-old Greg Bird as part of a package for a starting pitcher.
It could be a good idea to trade Bird because he hasn’t been consistent with the bat and has been plagued by injuries. So perhaps now that he has played in a career-high 70 games, some of those fears have been put to rest for a potentially interested club and they would part with some sort of starting pitcher in return.
Aside from a few moments of glory, Cashman and Co. cannot find anyone halfway decent to cover first base. They’ve platooned many players, including Tyler Austin, Chris Carter, Garrett Cooper, Rob Refsnyder, Luke Voit and the list goes on. No one has worked out.
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The sad part is, I’ve been a big fan of Greg Bird. I’ve always believed in him. I’ve felt he would make a comeback, especially when he’s healthy because he’s dangerous at the plate. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened besides a few home runs here and there.
He was the Yankees savior in the 2017 ALDS, however, that doesn’t warrant him staying with the major league club for 162 games per year. That’s why it makes sense to trade him as part of a package for a starting pitcher.
I think it might be a good idea to package Bird and Clint Frazier along with a few low-level prospects for a pitcher. This could also help push the Yanks to a deep postseason run in 2019.
The Bombers will finally achieve their goal of being under the $197 million tax luxury threshold after this season. That will allow them to spend tons of money this offseason, without needing to give away any of their top prospects which is great.
Machado has also hinted multiple times at wanting to become a Yankee. Pedro Martinez asked Machado’s nephew on TV before the Home Run Derby which team should he play for if he’s not an Orioles. He answered Yankees. I’m not sure if it’s me or not, but Machado’s face said a lot. He also liked a picture of him in a Yankees uniform, along with taking a picture with the Yankees’ Luis Severino, Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres.
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As we all know, Machado is in the peak of his prime right now having an OPS+ of 152, slashing .304/.378/.545 with 28 home runs and 75 RBIs. He has two Gold Glove awards, he’s phenomenal at batting and fielding his position (at third base), and the Yankees defense could really benefit because Andujar has struggled quite a bit with that part of his game.
Trade Bird for a pitcher, move Andujar to first and sign Machado to play third. It’s easier said than done, but if Brian Cashman can pull that off he shouldn’t hesitate to do so.