The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League as they aim for a 28th World Series title.
Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out.
Machado receives formal offer from White Sox
Free agent Manny Machado has received a formal offer from the White Sox, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported. Nightengale states that the offer is "serious," but is "likely closer to $200 million than $300 million."
MY TAKE >> Machado would make his decision early in the New Year, previous reports indicated, so it seems that might come to fruition now that we learn a formal offer has been made by at least one club. While it remains unclear if the Yankees have made a proposal of their own, we have been under the belief New York will not surpass the $300 million mark. The rumor mill has also indicated that the Yankees would prefer to keep the contract length closer to eight years than 10 years.
For the Yankees, Machado is a clear fit, but the club has other needs to consider and can pivot in another direction if the price goes beyond its parameters. In that respect, it doesn't appear the Yankees will blow open the vault to sign Machado. Due to Machado's apparent desire to wear pinstripes, the Yankees may very well feel that they are in the driver's seat so long as they stay close to the contract offers from the White Sox and potentially from the Phillies.
Robertson signs with Phillies; Yanks eye Britton
The Phillies announced a two-year deal with a third-year option with free agent reliever David Robertson, leaving the Yankees to turn its attention to lefty free agent reliever Zach Britton according to SNY.tv's Andy Martino.
MY TAKE >> When the offseason kicked off, the Yankees knew they would need to replace (or re-sign) one or both of Robertson and Britton. As Robertson departs, the Yankees can and should zero in on Britton. I have argued Britton should be the top choice of the three relievers they have been linked to the most, which includes free-agent RHP Adam Ottavino.
The Yankees need another polished end-game reliever, one that can step in for closer Aroldis Chapman, and Britton fits the bill. As the roster stands at the moment, Dellin Betances would be the only realistic option to close games if Chapman was unavailable. Betances had a fine 2018 season, but he was clearly more comfortable in a role setting up Chapman than in the closer's spot. Another point on Britton is that the Yankees require another strong lefty in the bullpen outside of Chapman. There is some concern about Britton's erratic 2018 season, but my belief is that the southpaw was never truly up to speed after a lengthy absence due to a ruptured right Achilles tendon.
As we are talking about roster needs, the Yankees should be willing to try and sign both Britton and Ottavino in an effort to re-create a "super bullpen." The Yankees' rotation is solid, but the knock on it would be the number of innings they might provide on a daily basis, making bullpen depth and strength a key to success. While the money is there for adding two relievers, it is also evident that the Yankees will be calculated in its spending, making any contract value handed out to Machado relevant to the remaining budget for the bullpen.