After being all but pronounced dead at the scene of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, the New York Yankees might have some new life.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Wednesday that the Chicago White Sox, considered the favorite to land the All-Star infielder, offered the 26-year-old a seven-year, $175 million deal. It is the first known offer for Machado this offseason.
It’s a far cry from the $300 million that was expected by the baseball world and his representation during the Fall. Much of that has to do with questions of his commitment to the game and the way he hustles, or lack thereof.
Still, a contract that averages $25 million per year is a sizeable one. But it’s not unmatchable.
The Yankees have emitted the vibe that they won’t break the bank on Machado despite being one of three teams who had a meeting with him back in December (the White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies were the others). Chances grew even slimmer when a report from SNY’s Andy Martino somewhat obviously stated that Machado will sign with the highest bidder while not taking a discount to join the Yankees.
General manager Brian Cashman also made the corresponding moves to suggest that the Bronx Bombers were going to pass on a serious pursuit, signing Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu to join Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and the recovering Didi Gregorius.
While it depends on what the Phillies have on the table, the Yankees might see the White Sox’s offer as an opening to re-open negotiations. And for such a big-market club like New York, it is almost expected that they swoop in.
However, management has made it known that they want to stay close to the $206 million luxury tax threshold, which they passed when signing LeMahieu to a two-year deal over the weekend. At the moment, they are around the $212 million mark.
Offering a contract that offers $25 million-to-$30 million a year for a bonafide star like Machado could be seen as a necessary risk to take for a Yankees team that is one big piece away from becoming overwhelming World Series favorites. Adding yet another infielder to the mix though would force them to shuffle their infield around, whether that means moving Miguel Andujar to first base or trading him altogether.