If the Yankees' real third base target is Nolan Arenado -- as SNY's Andy Martino reported on Jan. 18 could be the case -- they might want to rethink that strategy.
Arenado, who is in the final year of team control with the Rockies, recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $26 million. And the nature of the negotiations left Rockies owner Dick Monfort feeling confident the team will be able to sign Arenado long-term before he gets a chance to taste free agency.
Monfort said the two sides avoiding arbitration "sort of put to rest on both sides that we want Nolan and Nolan wants to be with us."
"I'm comfortable that we can get a number that we can get to," Monfort said, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. "There are a lot of things that have to go through Nolan's mind, too. But I'm confident that after we met, Nolan wants this to happen as much as we do."
According to Martino, people briefed on the Yankees' thinking said that GM Brian Cashman has internally discussed the possibility of trying to trade for Arenado either now or during the season, with Martino suggesting that an obvious fit as a centerpiece to a potential deal would be Miguel Andujar.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have remained on the outskirts of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, with their current "offer" to Machado -- or the parameters discussed if not a formal offer -- "low."
However, the Yankees are not yet out on Machado, who has also been connected to the Phillies, White Sox, Padres, and -- to a lesser extent -- the Braves.
If the Yankees don't sign Machado and Arenado signs a long-term extension with the Rockies, the Bombers could still have a bevy of stars to choose from in free agency after the 2019 season.
As it currently stands, Xander Bogaerts, Anthony Rendon, Paul Goldschmidt, Gerrit Cole, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander, and Madison Bumgarner are among those slated to hit the open market. J.D. Martinez will also be a free agent if he opts out of the final three years of his deal with the Red Sox.
So, if the Yankees are looking for offensive punch after the 2019 season -- and/or a stud for the rotation -- they should have that chance no matter what happens with Arenado.