Manny Machado is not a Yankee, and we’re just going to have to accept that fact. This was always a possibility. Don’t let the pinstripes and giant golden Steinbrenner head fool you. With the sport making more money than ever, the Yankees can easily be outbid anyone for superstar players now. Yes, even the San Diego Padres can go all in. Of course, it helps when the Yankees actually bid for a player in the first place, but here we are.
Instead of watching Machado play the infield this year, we will get to enjoy the resurrection of Troy Tulowitzki and help DJ LeMahieu find a position. If it sounds like I’m not jumping for joy at the prospect of this, I’m not. Still, they are in pinstripes now. I will root for them to succeed, as should we all. There is no reason to be bitter and petty towards DJ and Tulo for doing what’s best for them. There is, however, every reason to be bitter and petty towards the Steinbrenners.
Technically, there’s not. But that’s not going to stop me.
Hal and Hank Steinbrenner decided to pass on a superstar player because of “smart baseball” or whatever. According to New York’s finest sports media personalities, signing Tulowitzki and LeMahieu proved one of the reasons why. These are the same people who also attempted to use Jacoby Ellsbury as a cautionary tale against long-term deals. I’ll get into that lunacy later.
Just to be clear here, I fully understand all the legitimate, non-idiotic narrative reasons why not to sign Machado. As I’ve stated in previous articles, the Yankees will make the playoffs without him. This is in part due to the Yankees being really good and a significant portion of the league choosing to be bad. None of that changes the fact that the Yankees purposefully chose not to put the best team on the field. If you expect me not to be bitter about this, I refer you to every single tweet or article or comment I’ve ever written about Robinson Cano or Max Scherzer.
For the sake of my own sanity and yours, I won’t draw that particular discussion out further. Let’s go back to Ellsbury though. Using Ellsbury as a cautionary tale against long-term deals is absurd. The problem wasn’t the seven-year deal, but rather that they gave one to Ellsbury. There is no need to truly get into comparing Machado to Ellsbury, because I trust you’re intelligent enough to understand why it makes no sense. The only real comparison is that the Yankees don’t seem to want to go over seven years for a deal.
I’m truly upset about that last bit. It’s not that the Yankees didn’t sign Machado and will most likely pass on Harper. It’s that they value control over everything else. And I get it. Signing players to long-term deals comes with risks. Injuries, emergencies, or a sudden case of the Stephen Drews. It’s a business and businesses want to have as much control as possible. That doesn’t mean it’s something I enjoy rooting for.
Tulowitzki and LeMahieu may very well work out, and we won’t really know how well they do until around the trade deadline. But man oh man, if this backfires, you can expect my response to be super obnoxious New Yorker levels of petty. A morose “...oh” here and a smarmy “well then” there. I might even drop a non-sarcastic “If the Boss were here...” somewhere down the line. George Steinbrenner was all kinds of ludicrous and bad, but I never doubted his desire to win or his willingness to spend to do so.
Just remember that through it all, I’m not upset with Tulo or DJ, just like I’m not upset at Ellsbury. I’m pissed off at the Yankees. I’m pissed off at the New York sports media who tries to insult everyone’s intelligence with their downright trollish defense of the front office’s frugality. I’m pissed off at fans who are fine with all this. I literally just defended George Steinbrenner in the previous paragraph, and I will never forgive any of you for this!
What I’m truly, truly pissed about is that if the Yankees do win a World Series with their budding crop of young talent, I have no idea if they’re going to reward them when the time comes. I’m glad they gave Luis Severino the extended deal that they did, but let’s not pretend they did it for anything other than team friendly control. We’ll see what they offer him when he’s eligible for free agency.
I read recently that the “I told you so” crowd regarding LeMahieu and Tulowitzki was going to be worse than the other side, and that’s probably right. But hey, if everything goes according to plan, do not hesitate to mock me and rub my face in it. Because on the flip side, if this doesn’t work out, I will never let any of you forget about it for as long as I am allowed to rant on Pinstripe Alley or on Twitter.