This offseason has unfolded at a mind-numbingly slow pace. The Yankees landed Giancarlo Stanton in the blockbuster of the winter, but that about covers the action. Things can always change in an instant, though. For example, the Orioles have expressed a willingness to trade star third baseman Manny Machado. Moving the 25-year-old would certainly jumpstart the hot stove.
According to Jon Heyman, the Bombers have keen interest in acquiring the slugger. It’s one thing to wonder if another deal could fall into Brian Cashman’s lap. The more interesting question, however, asks whether the Yankees should swing a trade. A closer look reveals that this move makes a lot of sense.
The Yankees need a third baseman
As things stand, the Yankees have two openings in their infield. Most expect top prospect Gleyber Torres to serve as the starting second baseman. He may not break camp with the team due to service time concerns, but he figures to hold down the job for the rest of the season. All signs point to Torres manning the keystone.
Third base, however, is decidedly unsettled after the Chase Headley trade. According to the team’s depth chart, Miguel Andujar figures to start at the hot corner. Others such as Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, and Thairo Estrada remain in the mix. That said, it’s tough to imagine the Yankees starting two rookie infielders in a win-now season. Andujar is a fine prospect of course, but he’s hardly an elite one. I’m okay with opting for a veteran presence instead.
Machado stands out as one of the game’s top third basemen. He’s a career .279/.329/.426 hitter and is just a year removed from a 130 wRC+ season. He also routinely grades out as a superb defender. Adding Machado would instantly fill the biggest hole on the club’s roster.
They don’t actually need another starting pitcher
The Yankees have made it no secret that they want to add an elite starting pitcher. They’ve been connected to the top available arms on the free agent and trade markets. So far they haven’t been able to close out a deal. Instead, the team could pivot to adding another impact bat to improve the 2018 squad.
I think it’s a good thing that the Yankees want another pitcher. I’m of the belief that a team can never have too much starting pitching. When a front office thinks it has constructed a complete team, I think they should go out and get another starter. That said, the Yankees have an incredible amount of pitching depth. According to ZiPS, the current rotation projects to a combined 16 wins! It’s hardly an area of weakness.
On the other hand, Andujar projects to just one win. Adding Machado would improve the team as a whole. Plus, it would create a lineup that is straight out of a video game. Having Machado, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez in the same batting order would be the greatest spectacle on earth.
Machado fits the youth movement and the win-now team
It seems like he’s been around forever, but Machado is only 25. I guess that’s what happens with prodigious talent. Some have complained that the Yankees shouldn’t mortgage the farm for veteran players. That shouldn’t be the case with Machado, though. It’s not like they would be trading for an over-the-hill player. He has yet to scratch the surface of his prime.
In that case, Machado fits the youth movement. He’s younger than Judge after all! The question of course comes down to his long-term future in pinstripes. Heyman notes that the Yankees like their chances in signing the third baseman as a free agent next winter. If they can somehow negotiate an extension following a trade, then it seems like a no-brainer. Machado would fit terrifically into the youth movement.
Also, the Yankees are trying to win a World Series in 2018. They have a legitimate chance to do so. Cashman should look at any chance to upgrade the club, and Machado would definitely do that. He’s close to a generational talent and will probably outperform anyone for whom he’s traded. Plus, those who think the team would be better off with prospects than a World Series flag have their priorities mixed up.
There exist a number of obstacles standing between New York and a Machado trade. Orioles owner Peter Angelos has made it clear he has no interest in helping a division rival, let alone the Yankees. Plus, it’s tough to imagine Cashman wanting to help accelerate a Baltimore rebuild. That rings especially true when one considers Machado’s status as a free agent following the 2018 season. The Yankees could always land him for just cash next winter. Nonetheless, if the team wants to go for the kill, they should make the trade.
What do you think? Should the Yankees swing a trade for Machado? Let us know how you feel about a potential move in the comment section.