Even before the newest (reported) Manny Machado contract demands surfaced, what made any fan think the New York Yankees would be in the running for the star third baseman following his contract opt out next offseason after they passed on him at a cheaper price back in 2018?
The Yankees passed on Machado's prime at $300 million when they would've been getting the most out of the deal. And since they are the Yankees, his preferred destination, they likely wouldn't have had to give him an opt-out clause like the San Diego Padres did at the time of the signing.
Now, it's common knowledge Machado will opt out of his 10-year, $300 million deal after the 2023 season. He confirmed it to reporters after the very reasonable and believable speculation began to take hold.
Great news for ... the Mets? Because the Yankees were probably never going to pay $300 million heading into his age-31 season if they weren't willing to pay him that heading into his age-26 season.
And forget about $300 million! According to reports, Machado is seeking $400 million after he reportedly rejected an additional $105 million extension (on top of the remaining $150 million from 2024-2028).
Yankees Rumors: Manny Machado wants $400 million for next contract
Looks like Machado took what the Padres reportedly offered Aaron Judge this offseason personally and wants that. That's not stopping owner Peter Seidler from possibly making it a reality. But San Diego will have to wait until the offseason, because Machado isn't willing to negotiate during spring training.
MLB insider Mark Feinsand says the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Giants and Cubs "could all be in the market" for Machado, but at $400 million, we'd strategically cut that list to the Mets, Giants and Cubs. The Dodgers seem to be all-in on Shohei Ohtani and will not pay for him and Machado. The Mets could conceivably afford anything. The Giants and Cubs won't be landing Ohtani (in our safest estimation), which gives them more wiggle room to bring in Machado (on top of their already flexible spending power).
The Yankees already have almost $260 million committed to the 2024 payroll (which includes guaranteed contracts and arbitration salaries), so they probably won't be spending $35+ million per year on Machado when they'll have holes in the rotation (Luis Severino and Frankie Montas will both be gone).
Machado at $300 million sounds like a lot, but he's been a bonafide MVP candidate for three straight seasons now. Take out 2019 and 2017, and that's been the case since 2015. The Yankees could've maybe convinced themselves to sign Machado at that price, but it was still a stretch for a calculated-to-a-fault front office.
At $400 million? And DJ LeMahieu likely in need of a full-time position, since he'll be around for another three years after 2023? When Josh Donaldson is gone, just expect DJ to slide over to third with a middle infield picture of Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera taking over for the next five years.
Machado will probably be a subway ride away, so just hop on the 7 train if you're itching to watch him in person that badly.