Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
All through the offseason, the Yankees' stance on Manny Machado has remained the same: They like the player, but won't go crazy for him, especially after a troubling postseason that raised serious questions about his on-field maturity. They believe they can assemble a championship-caliber team with or without him, and they do not expect to be the highest bidder.
By staying consistent in this stance, the team now finds itself in strong position because it's easier to win a negotiation when you are sincerely willing to walk away.
The guess here -- and really, it's just speculation because neither Machado nor his agent, Dan Lozano, has telegraphed his intentions to anyone in the media, as far as we can tell -- is that the Yankees will ultimately land him. Just call it a vibe we're catching.
If that happens, they will be a better team. Obviously. Machado is an elite defensive third baseman and a decent shortstop. He is one of the better hitters in the league, though not one of the 10 best last year by OPS (he finished 11th) or WAR, where he was 14th. Machado's career home/road OPS splits (.887 at home, the vast majority of that time at hitter-friendly Camden Yards in Baltimore, versus .761 on the road) have surely not escaped the front office's notice, but they know he's an all-world talent.
Machado is nowhere near as good as, say, Alex Rodriguez when the Yankees acquired him in 2004. But he is far and away the best available position player in a winter that finds the Yankees once again chasing the World Series champion Red Sox. The Yankees being the Yankees, they have to do