The Yankees have expressed interest in Orioles 3B Manny Machado, per ESPN's Buster Olney.
With both teams being in the AL East, Olney isn't sure if a deal could actually get done. However, the Orioles are listening to what the Yankees have to offer. The White Sox are also interested in Machado.
The Yankees still have a lot of top prospects they could potentially deal if they want to get a player like Machado, who is one of the best infielders in the MLB. Over the past three seasons with the Orioles, Machado has hit over 30 home runs in each season. Last year, he hit .259 with 33 homers and 95 RBI.
The 25-year-old is arbitration eligible this season, where is he is expected to make around $17 million. Next winter, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Putting aside the potential difficulty of trading within the division, there are reasons the Yankees should bypass their chance to acquire Machado. For now.
Yes, the Yankees have a hole at third base, but the lineup is completely stacked. It's also true that the Yankees have the ability to put together the type of package it might take to obtain Machado. However, the Yankees can fill third base with a few different internal options, reconnect with Todd Frazier for a short-term deal, or sign an inexpensive stop gap.
At issue for the Yankees is that their "need" is in the rotation. The Yankees have been checking in on various controllable starters with elite upside in the last couple of days, and the prospects needed for those deals would be better suited to use to bolster the rotation. If they use them for Machado, it's a near certainty that they will not have enough in the system to add a significant starter. Machado is estimated to earn $17.3 million in arbitration this season according to MLB Trade Rumors, which will also limit the Yankees as they work to stay under the luxury tax.
The final and most important aspect to this situation is that Machado can be obtained for straight cash on the free agent market next season. Further, the argument that a team that trades for him has an upper hand in negotiations is flimsy for one reason. Scott Boras is Machado's agent, so it's a near certainty that all 30 teams will be given a chance to bid on his services.