To the puzzlement of many observers, the New York Yankees have seemingly slow-played the Manny Machado market this offseason. Perhaps, though, that's because they have designs on a different superstar infielder. 

And here's a money-quote from Martino's must-read piece

Meanwhile, people briefed on the Yankees thinking say that GM Brian Cashman -- who did not respond to a request for comment -- has internally discussed the possibility of trying to trade for Arenado either now or during the season. One source said that the teams have likely talked already, but neither Cashman nor Rockies GM Jeff Bridich have confirmed this.

Yes, the Yankees reportedly have eyes for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. It's easy to understand why. Arenado, who's going into his age-28 season, is an elite defender at the hot corner, and he's also finished in the top 10 or top five of the NL MVP balloting in each of the last four seasons. Yes, Coors Field helps his surface-level outputs with the bat, but Arenado, let it be known, owns an OPS+ of 131 over the past three years. When it comes to going from the Rockies to another team, too much is made of the post-Coors drop-off, and that's especially the case with an elite performer like Arenado. 

Arenado is in his walk year, which means the Yankees may have credible designs on him for next offseason. If the Rockies fall from contention early on or decide to clear payroll, then a trade is also a possibility. Cashman and the Yankees are certainly comfortable with taking on former Rockies, as Troy Tulowitzki, DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino have all joined the fold this winter. 

As for the Rockies, they of course hope to sign Arenado to an extension. Bridich recently addressed the topic at a town hall meeting with fans and media, and as's Thomas Harding writes the GM said there's no current deadline for negotiations. In that piece, Harding also points out that Bridich during the winter meetings said the Rockies could theoretically afford a $200 million contract. Something like that is probably what it would take to lock up Arenado.

The Yankees do have a crowded infield situation at the moment, and that'll especially be the case once shortstop Didi Gregorius returns from Tommy John surgery perhaps in June. Arenado, though, is the kind of player for whom you make room, and the Yankees would surely do that. As for an offseason or early-season trade, Bridich would have to get orders from ownership to slash payroll (Arenado is going to make at least $24 million next season through arbitration), or he'd have to opt to pivot despite having made the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Otherwise, Cashman and the Yankees must hope the Rockies have drifted from contention by the July 31 non-waiver deadline or wait until the following winter.