The New York Yankees have made their pitch to Manny Machado. Now comes the waiting.
Machado showed up at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon to hear the Bronx Bombers’ pitch on why he should sign up to wear pinstripes in 2019 in beyond. According to the Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, the meeting lasted just 90 minutes.
Depending on how much of an optimist you are, this can be processed in two different ways: Either the Yankees’ pitch was so overwhelmingly fantastic that Machado quickly made up his mind and is finishing up his tour just to go through the motions, or general manager Brian Cashman slid a price to Machado that was so insulting that he high-tailed it out of the Bronx immediately.
Regardless, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports revealed that the Yankees are “enamored” with Machado and believe he is a “perfect fit.”
That was not the general consensus just a week ago. In fact, during the Winter Meetings, it was reported that Cashman was unwilling to pay the $300 million price tag that the 26-year-old’s representation was initially looking for.
Much of that has to do with Machado’s new reputation of not hustling after the postseason and his comments to the Atheltic’s Ken Rosenthal. Another reason is that the Yankees already have an albatross of a contract in Giancarlo Stanton’s.
Why are Yankees all-in on Manny Machado now?
But the Yankees have to find a way to keep up with the defending World Series-champion Boston Red Sox. Initially, the plan was to construct an elite starting rotation as the Yankees were linked to the likes of Patrick Corbin, Nathan Eovaldi, James Paxton, and even Noah Syndergaard.
Instead, they came away with Paxton before re-signing JA Happ as Corbin and Eovaldi opted to sign elsewhere while the Mets refused to let go of Syndergaard.
Now, the Yankees seem content on just out-slugging teams, which was already the case after mashing an MLB-record 267 round trippers last year thanks to a lineup that featured Stanton, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, and Aaron Hicks; all of whom hit 27 or more home runs in 2018.
With Gregorius shelved for at least the first half of 2019 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, Machado was deemed to be the most obvious free-agent bat the Yankees would go after. They did, after all, pursue him for much of the past year.
Coming off a year in which he tied a career-high with 37 home runs and set a new best with 107 RBI, the former Oriole and Dodger will make Yankees fans forget about Gregorius while he recovers.
But the Yankees have competition.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox are the two other teams on Machado, the former meeting him on Thursday while the latter welcomed him on Monday. Should Machado simply be chasing the dollar, an ensuing bidding war could take the Yankees out of the running quickly.
Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman already appears to know what will happen though, which would be a good sign for the Yankees if he moonlights as a fortune teller:
Machado is going to the Yankees. Yankees go out and get everyone. Red Sox are lethal. Rays are dangerous. Can never sleep on the Orioles. I’m going to the gym. Gonna be in my zone all year. Excited to compete in the best division in baseball! #ALEast
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) December 20, 2018
We’ll find out soon enough, but keep refreshing those news feeds, Yankees fans.