Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
LAS VEGAS -- Earlier in the offseason, summarizing how the team viewed Manny Machado's free agency, a Yankees person said it was best explained by a comparison to CC Sabathia.
In the winter of 2008, the Yanks had just missed the playoffs in the first season of the post-Joe Torre era, and identified Sabathia as the player they needed to have. They would not be outbid -- whatever the market for Sabathia became, the Yanks would go there. The Yankees eventually nabbed Sabathia with a seven-year, $161 million deal, the richest ever for a pitcher at the time.
The 2018 Yankees also ended their year with disappointment, thought not as severely. The team won 100 games, finished in second place in the AL East and lost to Boston in the ALDS. Watching the Red Sox go on to win a championship made the Yankees antsy, but perhaps not desperate.
They certainly aren't desperate for Machado, whom they will only sign at their price. After trying to trade for Machado twice in the past 12 months, they watched his troubling October, and thought long and hard about adding another megadeal to Giancarlo Stanton's.
As the winter meetings begin, the Yankees stance on Machado remains what it was six weeks ago: They're interested, but a bit lukewarm. They'll take him if the deal seems reasonable, but if another team -- the White Sox? Phillies? -- wants to outbid them, so be it. When Fancred's Jon Heyman reported on Sunday that the Yanks wouldn't pay Machado $300 million, it served as further confirmation of the team's limits.
Machado's free agency will kick into gear this week, as he and/or his representatives will meet with teams in Las Vegas. That will include the Yankees. Major league sources say that he does not seem on pace to sign at the meetings.
Perhaps we'll learn more over the next several days about how desperate he is, and by extension, how likely he is to become a Yankee.