The thought of Manny Machado donning the pinstripes sounds amazing. The 25-year-old is posting career highs with his .309/.379/.555 slash line, and is on pace to break his home run mark as well with 21 dingers on the year already.
But would the payout be worth it for a player the Yankees could simply be renting for three months?
The price is bound to be steep for Machado, but New York should be able to match it considering their deep trove of prospects. SNY's Andy Martino noted a package that includes top pitching prospect LHP Justus Sheffield and INF Brandon Drury could be in the works if the Yankees are serious.
The truth, though, is that the Yankees don't need Machado.
Sure, having that monster bat added to a lineup that already features Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez (when he returns from the DL) would be any baseball fan's paradise. And the obvious reason the Yankees would generate added interest in the slugger around the deadline is to get an upper-hand in the AL East race that the Red Sox lead by 2.5 games.
But the Yankees wouldn't be filling a hole with Machado. Instead, it would uproot a budding star in Miguel Andujar from third base as Didi Gregorius wouldn't leave his post at shortstop -- the position Machado wants to play in the first place. Andujar has more than held his own this season, leading all MLB rookies with 40 extra-base hits to go along with his .279/.309/.500 slash line.
Also, Machado's free agent status at the end of the season means he might not be a Yankee in 2019 and beyond.
Though the Bombers can spend the money, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has made it clear he wants GM Brian Cashman to stay under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Machado's expected large payout during the offseason wouldn't work well for those finances considering other big contracts like Stanton's are on the books.
And then there's the idea of adding left-handed reliever Zach Britton to the proposed blockbuster deal for Machado. But even that doesn't make sense, with starting pitching being the more glaring need. The Yankees' bullpen has the third-best ERA in baseball, so they can hold their own.
In the rotation after Cy Young-candidate Luis Severino, the Yankees have giant question marks with every arm.
Masahiro Tanaka returns to the rotation tonight after rehabbing injuries to both hamstrings, and before hitting the DL, he owned a 4.58 ERA. Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga have filled in nicely for Jordan Montgomery, who had to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, but they are not reliable options come postseason play. And don't even get me started with Sonny Gray...
CC Sabathia has been rolling through another stellar season, but his health -- more particularily his bum right knee -- has to be in the back of the Yankees' mind.
The Yankees have enough All-Star firepower (Judge, Severino, Gleyber Torres, and Aroldis Chapman in this year's game with Stanton as a possible Final Vote-in), but what they need to put themselves over the top is that starter who can be relied on with consistency.
Cashman may be listening to the siren song that Machado's All-Star status rings out. But hopefully its soothing sound doesn't cloud his judgment before it strikes midnight on July 31.