Arguably the biggest story of the Yankees’ offseason so far has been will they or won’t they sign Manny Machado. He is a polarizing figure, so naturally half of Yankees fans want him and the other half hope he ends up anywhere else. If you fall in the latter group and are tired of hearing the Machado updates, you may want to click out of this article.
Remember when we thought the top free agent would make his decision shortly after the New Year? Well, it’s been a week and a half and he still doesn’t appear close to signing. Jon Heyman offered an update yesterday afternoon that indicated that while the Yankees are “believed to be [Machado’s] preferred destination,” they haven’t made him an official offer. The Phillies and White Sox are still in the mix, along with a possible mystery team. Also of note: Machado is reportedly seeking a contract bigger than Giancarlo Stanton’s, which would be upwards of $325 million.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard about the Yankees failing to make an official offer to a free agent this offseason. After publicly expressing interest in Patrick Corbin and giving him the Yankee Stadium tour, it was revealed that the Bombers never made him an official offer.
A lot of PSA readers defended this approach by arguing that there was no point in making an “official” offer if they discussed numbers and were nowhere close to matching up. That’s true enough. If the Yankees said they’d give him five years, $100 million and he said he had to have that sixth year, why bother making anything official if there was no chance Corbin would accept?
The fact that they didn’t make an official offer to Corbin, and supposedly haven’t made one to Machado, is not the real issue here. The troubling aspect is that this shows that they’ve been unwilling to make competitive offers. We can go back and forth all day about whether Corbin is truly worth the $140 million contract he landed, or whether Machado deserves $300 million. People consider Corbin an overpay, but the market value is whatever the winning bid is.
If other teams are willing to “overpay,” the Yankees will either have to swallow whatever the market value price is, or watch other teams walk away with the best players. Given the way that teams have started handing out contract extensions, fewer and fewer elite players are even hitting the free agent market. Now that they’ve moved several of their top trade pieces, the Bombers really need to take advantage of the chance to get players for nothing but money.