The New York Yankees have reportedly taken a backseat in the sweepstakes for free agent Manny Machado.
A report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, confirms that the Yankees haven't offered Machado any kind of deal and are unlikely to win the 26-year-old over the Chicago White Sox or the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Yankees are also reportedly not interested in paying Machado anywhere close to the $300 million plus that he's seeking. Which is why they're unlikely to beat out the White Sox and the Phillies for his services.
Can’t confirm Yankees are out (there’s no word they’ve been told this at least), but as said, they haven’t engaged in negotiations lately or made an official offer. They aren’t meeting the believed 325M-plus target, or even 300. Or even coming especially close. https://t.co/pTjdkPLjSP— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 9, 2019
This news is very surprising since earlier reports in the off-season had the Yankees as Machado's preferred destination. But, it seems that money is playing a big factor in his decisions on where to spend the next part of his career.
Clearly, the Yankees think the price that Machado is asking for is too high of a price for them. The team does have internal options if they don't decide to add another player before the off-season concludes. They signed Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year deal to serve as a utility infielder.
Didi Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery late last season, which could mean the shortstop might not return until after the All-Star break that occurs in mid-July. Until then, if Machado isn't an option anymore, then the Yankees could look to add a fill-in until Gregorius is healthy, or use Tulowitzki at the shortstop position for the time being.
"Money is going to rule this thing first and foremost. But, all things being equal, maybe Manny wants to play with these guys he's worked out with for so many years." - @Ken_Rosenthal #MLBNHotStove #WhiteSox pic.twitter.com/ksPNApcA5H— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 8, 2019
Between the White Sox and the Phillies, it appears that Chicago has the edge over the city of "Brotherly Love" for Machado. They have acquired two players that train with the four-time All-Star in the off-season.
Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay train with Machado in the off-season, not to mention Alonso is Machado's brother-in-law, which shows that the White Sox are trying to appeal to his interest of being around people he is already very familiar with.
Money has shown to be one of the biggest deciding factors for Machado. However, it appears that the Yankees are attempting to change their philosophy on giving out massive salary-based contracts. Which is why they're backing away from the Machado sweepstakes unless his price drops substantially.
What This Means
This news is a massive shock for most fans around the game of baseball. The Yankees have been one of the teams for years that wouldn't think twice about handing out crazy amounts of money to All-Star players.
But, it looks like now they're being smart with how they spend their money. It was the first time in many seasons where they weren't one of the teams who had to pay for luxury taxes this season. So, this could mean the Yankees go the rest of this off-season without spending any big amounts on any free agents.