It stands to reason that the Yankees finished their offseason heavy lifting. The team traded James Paxton, signed two elite relievers, and added a bunch of infield depth. Once Sonny Gray gets traded — and that could happen at any minute — the Bombers should be able to call it a winter.
That said, it feels like the Yankees may have missed a chance to make a move that shifts the balance of the power in the American League. The team has yet to sign any of the top free agents on the market, game-changing players available for just cash. Fans have understandably expressed their frustration.
What explains the club’s restraint when it comes to Manny Machado and Bryce Harper? According to Andy Martino, it may be because the Yankees have their eyes set on Nolan Arenado. Consider what Martino had to say on the subject:
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.
Arenado, 27, hit .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs in 2018. His 132 wRC+ represented the latest high mark in a steady climb for the third baseman. He previously posted wRC+ totals of 121, 126, and 129 from 2015-2017. He’s a force at the plate, but has some noticeable home/road splits. We previously wrote of Arenado and the Yankees back in November.
This report, however, reads of damage control on behalf of the Yankees front office. Why would the Yankees trade prospects and pay Arenado when there are free agents available for just cash? This seems like a situation where they pass on Machado, then pivot fans away from backlashing by dangling a rumor about Arenado. It works out brilliantly for Yankees management. They can miss out on the top free agents and still avoid fan resentment.
Granted, Martino explains that the Yankees have kept an open line of communication with Machado. Jack Curry, on the other hand, all but rules them out. Maybe the Yankees make a last-minute pursuit, but their actions so far suggest otherwise.
What are your thoughts on the current rumors? Do these sound plausible or far-fetched? Let us know in the comment section below!