I get it, you’re probably tired of reading about Manny Machado and why the Yankees should sign him, or even just about where Machado will go in general. Heck, I’m tired of writing about it, yet here we are. It’s the middle of January and there are still so many players left to be signed. Everyone seems to be waiting to see where Machado and Bryce Harper will end up and we have no idea if we’re getting that closure anytime soon. The baseball offseason has become so exhausting.
As of right now the Phillies are the “favorites” to sign Harper and Machado has an official offer on the table from the White Sox. It’s that offer that brings us here today. Supposedly the offer from the South Side of Chicago is for eight years and $250 million. Of all three of the Machado frontrunners (Yankees, Phillies, White Sox), Chicago probably has the most to gain from signing Machado.
The Yankees want Machado to take a great team and make them even better. The Phillies are looking for Machado to cement a rebuild and propel them into contention. The White Sox, however, need Machado to propel them into relevancy. They’re not even playing it cool in how much they want Machado, after trading for his brother-in-law Yonder Alonso and signing his friend Jon Jay. And their offer was for eight years.
This is a 26-year old superstar entering his prime, that they’re desperate for, and they offered eight years. They’re a far cry away from $300 million, let alone the supposed 13-14 year speculation that surrounded the Machado/Harper rumors for years. An eight-year commitment for arguably a top-5 hitter in baseball that’s 26 is absolutely nothing. And he’s thinking of taking it!
A rival MLB executive believes Manny Machado is heavily leaning towards accepting the offer from the Chicago White Sox. Deal could be announced this week or could still fall through. #MachadoMonday #WhiteSox— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) January 14, 2019
This all is being set-up perfectly for the Yankees. That same 26-year old superstar, top-5 hitter wants to play for the Yankees. He wants to come to New York and the front office is playing hardball, because Hal Steinbrenner’s more interested in his yachts than championships. Of course Machado doesn’t guarantee a championship, but he increases their chances greatly. Yet the team has shown no indication of doing what it takes to get him.
At the same time that the White Sox offer came out, Andy Martino of SNY reported that Machado doesn’t care about where his brother-in-law is or the Pride, Power, Pinstripes BS the Yankees probably tried selling him on, nor should he. He’s going to sign with whoever offers him the most money, as he absolutely should and as every single person in the world would.
Now, word comes from a person with direct knowledge of Machado’s thinking that he plans to choose the team that makes the highest offer.
In most cases, this would be about as stunning as “Source: Sun will set this evening.”
Most free agents chase the money, as they should. But with Machado, it’s an update that does hold some relevance.
The Yankees’ hopes to sign Machado rely on either an aggressive late offer that no one sees coming, or Machado’s willingness to take less because 1) his wife likes New York; 2) A-Rod is his idol; 3) Carlos Beltran used to have the same agent; or 4) he wants to see the Warhol exhibit at the Whitney before it closes.
Good. Taking a “discount” would set a terrible precedent in a market where owners are already (unofficially) coming together to lowball the players.
So Machado has a very-reasonable-for-him offer from someone else on the table, will sign with the highest bidder, and I cannot state this last point enough: wants to come play for the Yankees. This should be easy. At the very least, MATCH that offer. If all the offers are the same, then his desire to go to the A History of Magic exhibit will come into play. Or, don’t leave things to chance, beat that offer, sign the superstar, and light the cigar.
This is playing out perfectly for the Yankees. Machado’s market never really formed the way it was expected to or how he wanted. They could swoop in, make the highest offer, and stay under that scary $300 million benchmark. Instead, they won’t. And not because they want to stay under the luxury tax threshold, since they already surpassed that.
They’ll sell fans on being competitive because they signed DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki, when really those signings don’t move the needle much. In fact, some are saying there’s no more room for Machado because of those two, but you know what? Get the superstar on a very good deal, and cut the guy who hasn’t played in a year and a half and is only being paid the minimum, then use LeMahieu as that super-utility guy/Neil Walker-replacement off the bench.
There’s still room for the Yankees to add Machado, and they absolutely should. I shouldn’t have to tell anyone why. I don’t believe it will happen because everything we’ve seen so far indicates that they won’t, but I am so ready and willing to be proven wrong. As Andy Martino also notes, the Yankees’ last hope comes down to a last-minute aggressive offer and I will be the first (or 11th depending on what time of day it is and my schedule) person to write a “The Yankees proved me wrong and I couldn’t be happier” thinkpiece.
This isn’t one of those empty “I’m going to root for another team” threats, but if Machado does end up with a deal like the ones the White Sox have supposedly offered or something close to it, it will be infuriating. And as a fan, I have every right to be annoyed with the choices they make. The Yankees should be ashamed and anyone who buys their excuses should be ashamed as well.