The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them 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…
Is Machado off the board?
The Manny Machado sweepstakes hit a fever pitch Wednesday with numerous outlets pushing out various reports on the free agent infielder's impending decision. Hector Gomez of ZDeportes tweeted that the Yankees were out of the running, while others including SNY's Andy Martino wouldn't shut the door on the Yankees' chances.
MY TAKE >> The Yankees thrive on keeping their business close to the vest, so until Machado agrees to terms elsewhere or the club directly states its intentions, the window is open.
There are at least a couple of ways of looking at how discussions between the Yankees and Machado have transpired. The club surely believes that Machado is a talented player and one they believe could help or else there would not have been a pursuit of any sort. That said, after the meeting at Yankee Stadium and a dinner later in the evening, reports claim there has been little indication the Yanks are being aggressive in landing Machado. According to Martino's sources, there has been sparse interaction since New Year's. Is there a chance that Machado did little to encourage the Yankees to pony up more than their analytics department stated he was worth? Soon after the meeting with Machado, the Yankees decided to lock down Troy Tulowitzki as part of a backup plan.
It is plausible that Machado and his agent Dan Lozano made their pitch and the terms were well beyond what the Yankees intend to offer, which could explain why New York has shied away. The Yankees have reportedly not made a formal offer, but that does not mean that numbers from New York were not provided to Machado's camp during the sitdown. It's possible that Machado was recently blown away by the White Sox or Phillies offers, and Lozano has taken them back to the Yanks. If Gomez's report is accurate, the Yankees may have told Machado they will not come close to those bids.
Or, as I stated up front, Cashman and Co. are biding their time and readying to make a formal offer that could sway Machado into pinstripes. Stay tuned as this could unfold rather quickly from here.
CC good, Gray gone?
The Yankees announced Tuesday that CC Sabathia underwent a successful stress test after his recent angioplasty and indicated that he could begin workouts including baseball activities.
MY TAKE >> As the Yankees hoped, Sabathia passed his first post-surgery hurdle and barring setbacks he should be fully up to speed when pitchers and catchers report to spring training next month. Last week, Cashman stated that the Yanks wanted to see how Sabathia was progressing before determining their next steps concerning Sonny Gray. With the positive results from Sabathia's test, the Yankees could entertain any offers that might be on the table for Gray.
Gray was thrust into the trade market by Cashman at the outset of the offseason and the pitcher's market had up to 11 suitors. Things began to settle down as Cashman indicated that he wanted a just return for Gray and then further paused with Sabathia's condition.
While Sabathia's prognosis could mean the Yanks pulling the trigger on a Gray trade, they could hold onto him as we approach spring training and beyond if any hesitation remains concerning Sabathia. Despite his struggles, Gray might remain the best sixth man in the rotation over the minor leaguers who would battle for position on the depth chart. Holding Gray into spring training is a risk, since any value he maintains could plummet due to injury or poor performance. As such, I wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees ship Gray before spring training.