Yankees' Hal Steinbrenner says Manny Machado's comments on his lack of hustle are 'troubling'

At the Major League Baseball owners' meetings Wednesday, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner made it clear that free agent Manny Machado would need to address his anti-hustle comments this past postseason if the Yankees are to sign him.

"I'm not going to change," Machado told Ken Rosenthal in October. "I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base … and you know, whatever can happen. That's just not my personality. That's not my cup of tea. That's not who I am."

The Yankees have reportedly been doing extensive research on Machado's background. They are interested in the superstar partly because Didi Gregorius will miss the start of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. But Steinbrenner said Machado's comments give the franchise pause.

"If it's a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling," Steinbrenner told a small group of reporters, according to the New York Post. "But that's really [general manager Brian Cashman's] job. If we're interested in any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him, 'Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?'

"Because that ain't gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is."

Steinbrenner added it was "essential" for the team to make peace with Machado's comments.

Steinbrenner also told reporters that he's been texting Alex Rodriguez and would use him in some capacity as a resource for collecting information on prospective Yankees targets this offseason. Rodriguez has known Machado since the latter was a teenager growing up in Miami.

Our Latest Stories