New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone might have announced on Friday an avenue for his club to acquire soon-to-be-free-agent shortstop Manny Machado this winter.
As the Yankees cleaned out their lockers after being eliminated earlier in the week at the hands of the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, Boone revealed that starting shortstop Didi Gregorius will undergo Tommy John surgery this winter and is expected to miss a considerable amount of the 2019 season.
For the 29 other teams of Major League Baseball, this would be considered an enormous loss. Gregorius has become one of the premier offensive shortstops in the game, setting a Yankees record last year for most home runs by a shortstop with 25 before breaking it in 2018 with 27.
Personally, for Gregorius, it’s a tough break considering this is his final season under his current contract before going into a fourth year of arbitration. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
It could be signaling an end to his time in New York seeing as the Yankees will have to find a replacement for at least the start of the season. The need could very much throttle the Yankees into the driver’s seat for the Machado sweepstakes, the 26-year-old preparing for the NLCS as his Los Angeles Dodgers face off against the Milwaukee Brewers.
As soon as the Dodgers season ends, Machado — along with Bryce Harper — becomes the free agency’s biggest prize this winter.
Machado is coming off a career year, which began with the Baltimore Orioles before being dealt at the trade deadline to the Dodgers. In the combined 162 games he played with both teams, Machado posted a career-high .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI.
The Yankees were very much in the Machado sweepstakes in June and July leading up to the league’s trade deadline. While there was initial hesitation to offer up top prospects for the start shortstop, the Yankees reportedly offered some of their top youngsters in July. However, it was the Dodgers who provided the Orioles with the best possible return.
While Machado would obviously bolster the shortstop position in the Bronx for the next decade, the Yankees would have to do a little work in order to make things work financially.
Already saddled with Giancarlo Stanton’s enormous contract, Machado could very well see a deal in the neighborhood of $300 million.