The wait for Manny Machado's decision is almost over for the New York Yankees, but things don't look too promising.
Bruce Levine of Chicago 670 reported on Wednesday that the 26-year-old All-Star's free-agency decision is expected to come within a week.
As it stands, three teams are in on Machado, the Yankees being joined by the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. All three have held meetings with the infielder and have made their pitches, but things have significantly slowed since Machado's December tour.
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While the decision comes down to the former Oriole and Dodger, the market for Machado lagged after questions of his character and commitment became apparent during his 2018 postseason run with Los Angeles.
Once a talent expected to make near $300 million, Machado is now expected to land a deal ranging between $220 million and $270 million.
The severity of the Yankees' interest has experienced its fair share of ebbs and flows. After not being too keen on bringing Machado in as the offseason began, the Yankees suddenly were highly motivated in the sweepstakes, although it became clear that they were not going to get in a bidding war. That kind of frugality is a foreign concept for many Yankees fans.
Yet there is still a chance the Yankees could bolster the left side of their infield while Didi Gregorius recovers as Machado's wife reportedly prefers to see her husband head to the Bronx, per Wallace Matthews of the New York Daily News.
Levine's report added that all three teams have made formal offers to Machado, but it looks like the White Sox have become the clear frontrunners to land him.
Chicago has done its due diligence to make the smaller-market franchise more appealing to Machado. The White Sox traded for Machado's brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso, from the Cleveland Indians back in December before adding outfielder Jon Jay in free agency on Tuesday. The three of them train together in Miami during the offseason.
If that's enough to get Machado, the Yankees are slated to roll out an Opening Day infield that features Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop and Miguel Andujar at third. Tulowitzki is a major wild card at the position to fill in for Gregorius after the former Rockie and Blue Jay missed the entire 2018 season with heel problems. He's played in just 66 games since the start of 2017.
Losing out on Machado isn't the end of the world for the Yankees, who are still favored to win the American League East in 2019, but general manager Brian Cashman might have just lost out on the player that makes the Bronx Bombers a lock for a 28th World Series title.