The New York Yankees will continuously be linked to Manny Machado until the Baltimore Orioles superstar signs a new deal after the 2018 MLB season. The Yankees already have Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but having them does not mean that the Yankees are not going to make a run at Machado in the offseason.
Machado will be one of the top free agents after this season. The Yankees are tagged among the favorites to sign the 25-year-old in free agency. John Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that Machado appears willing to move to a team like the Yankees because there is a strong belief that he is ready to “relish the challenge” of playing in a major market like New York.
It is not a secret that playing in New York, particularly for the Yankees, is easier said than done because of the high expectations from fans. Take the case of Stanton, who is being criticized for his poor start this season. But based on Heyman’s report, the pressure of donning the pinstripes will not be a problem for Machado.
Heyman added that it is now almost certain that New York is interested in making a run at Machado after Judge expressed that the Orioles superstar would look good in a Yankees uniform. The Machado-to-New York scenario is also not a long shot in terms of financial factors because the Yankees have the assets to spend a lot for a star like the Florida native.
However, Heyman also added that the Yankees might fall out of the race for Machado because they could also prioritize acquiring a top-tier starter. Previous reports also indicated that Machado’s preferred role could also affect New York’s plan to make a run at him after this season.
Machado, who has played his entire seven-year career in Baltimore, is playing shortstop for the Orioles after serving as third baseman since his rookie season. He made it clear that he wants to continue playing shortstop moving forward, according to North Jersey.
If he remains firm in his stance, it could create a conflict for the Yankees because they already have a stable shortstop in Didi Gregorius. The 28-year-old is also having a strong start for the Yankees this season, averaging 0.311 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
Gregorius expressed interest in signing a contract extension, but he admitted that the Yankees have not reached out to him about a new deal. And if the Yankees decide to lock him up for several years, New York could save a lot because Gregorius insisted that he is not looking to break the bank, NJ Advance Media reported.
“I don’t look at it as I’m the guy who plays shortstop and will have a lot of money,” Gregorius said. “It’s not about money for me. It’s about the love of the game and what I do for my teammates.”