MLB trade deadline rumors: Yankees reportedly in the mix for Manny Machado
The Yankees don't have an obvious need at shortstop or third base, however
It was only a matter of time until one of the AL East powerhouses jumped into the Manny Machado mix.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the New York Yankees are showing interest in Machado, though it's unclear whether the Baltimore Orioles are willing to trade him to a division rival. From Rosenthal:
No deal appears close, and both Brian Cashman, the Yankees' general manager, and Dan Duquette, the Orioles' executive vice-president of baseball operations, declined comment. The Orioles' preference probably is to send Machado to the NL, and the team likely would ask the Yankees for a steeper package than they would accept from other clubs. Still, the Orioles might be more open to a blockbuster with the Yankees than they were when owner Peter Angelos was more active in the operation of the club.
The Yankees appear set at shortstop (Didi Gregorius) and third base (Miguel Andujar), though Machado would be an upgrade over both. Rosenthal says it's unlikely the Yankees would include Andujar in a trade, and since Gregorius is the superior defender, it's likely Machado would have to accept a move back to third base for a trade to go down. Andujar would go to Triple-A in that case.
As the Giancarlo Stanton trade showed, the Yankees look to add elite talent whenever possible, regardless of position. The Yankees already had a franchise right fielder (Aaron Judge) when they acquired Stanton, but they've made it work with the DH spot and by giving Stanton time in left field. The Yankees are a "get the best players and figure it out later" organization.
There are three possible explanations for this Yankees-Machado rumor.
- The Yankees have genuine interest in Machado. Always a possibility.
- The Orioles are using the Yankees to drive up the price for other teams. It happens.
- The Yankees are feigning interest to drive up the price for other contenders. That happens too.
The Yankees have a deep farm system, deep enough to make a strong offer even with Andujar and Gleyber Torres being off-limits. Would they trade some of those prospects to a division rival when they could potentially come back to haunt them for years? Possibly! All would be forgotten if Machado helps them win the World Series.
For now, starting pitching remains the top priority for the Yankees. The pitching market isn't great at the moment, and if the Yankees decide they can't land an impact pitcher, they could shift gears and look to improve their team in other ways. Adding Machado would certainly qualify.
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