Hal Steinbrenner expects a meeting with Manny Machado and he will likely get one.
In an interview that will air on the YES Network on Monday, the Yankees owner reiterated his comments from the owner's meetings that it is "essential" for Machado to discuss his "Johnny Hustle" remark with ownership before offering the slugger a mega contract.
"I think it's really gonna be up to (GM Brian) Cashman, sitting down with him, and me, hopefully face to face, trying to get an explanation of what was the context of when he answered that question," Steinbrenner said. "Were there things that weren't printed? What were you tyring to say? Do you understand that this stuff concerns a lot of our fans -- if not most of our fans?
"There needs to be a sit-down before we're comfortable."
Regardless of the player, if there are work-ethic issues, they need to be addressed prior to becoming a Yankee, says Hal Steinbrenner.- YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 23, 2018
FULL INTERVIEW: Monday on Yankees Hot Stove pic.twitter.com/SQbH3lfj6o
Coincidentally, Machado addressed some of these questions publicly earlier this week, before Steinbrenner's interview was taped.
The free agent slugger told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that he looks forward to answering any questions teams may have about him and attempted to clear some of the stigma surrounding him.
"When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn't come across how I meant it," Machado said. "For me, I was trying to talk about how I'm not the guy who is eye wash. There's a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I've always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.
"But I know how I said it and how that came across, and it's something I take responsibility for. I look forward to talking with each GM and owner that we meet with about that, or any other questions they have."
Machado raised these concerns in the postseason when he said he was never going to be "Johnny Hustle" after not running hard on a ground ball. He also garnered the reputation as a dirty player when he appeared to intentionally clip Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's foot in the NLCS -- which led to the benches clearing.
Following the postseason, SNY's Andy Martino reported the Yankees were "lukewarm" on Machado. Steinbrenner claims these concerns extend beyond Machado and are always a factor before acquiring someone.
"Again, we're looking at three or four guys right now, whether [it's] free agents or potential trades, where makeup issues and work-ethic issues are always a concern," he said. "And that's always a part [for] any person we're going to bring into this environment."