In the world’s worst kept secret Manny Machado wants to be a New York Yankee. In a report by Jon Heyman “sources close to Machado” indicate that Manny wants to play in the Bronx.
Word is, Machado likes the pinstripes. But is there room in a stacked infield? https://t.co/JiBj5YsiNP
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 18, 2018
Well first and foremost let’s be clear Manny Machado will play where he’s offered the right dollar amount.
While he may take a “minute” amount less to be a Yankee he is not going to give up several millions of dollars to make it happen. During the All-Star Break Manny was on the MLB Tonight stage and had his nephew alongside him.
This lead “hard-nosed” journalist Pedro Martinez to ask the young man a question (paraphrasing) “Where do you want your uncle to end up?” Without hesitation, the young man answered saying the YANKEES. And the look on Manny’s face was priceless.
How Can It Happen Though?
Manny is without question one of the best third basemen in the history of the game of baseball. But currently residing on that ground in the Bronx is Miguel Andújar.
Andújar has hit since day one in the Big Leagues, yet his fielding remains a question. For Miguel much of his issues have been with throwing. Whether be it overthrowing or double clutching. Manny doesn’t face those issues as a premier defender at third base. So if the Yankees are to sign Manny Machado as a free agent what happens to Papa-dújar?
Miguel has good hands at third and the idea early in the season was to get him some work in the minors at first base. Something that didn’t happen often as Brandon Drury got hurt leading to Miguel’s promotion to everyday third baseman. However, if the Yankees are serious about purchasing the services of Mr. Miami they will need to find another avenue to deploy the lethal bat that Andújar possess.
Andújar To First. Where’s Bird?
The one issue that would arise with moving Andújar to first base to make room for Manny Machado is current first baseman Greg Bird. While Yankee fans have long waited for a healthy Bird to sore to heights we had all hoped for, Greg just hasn’t done it to this point.
In 2018, Greg Bird has played in the most games he has in a single season (72 games.) That in and of itself is a problem, as health and being on the field is an important factor. But even more important is producing when a player is on the field.
For example, think back to Troy Tulowitzki during his time with the Colorado Rockies. For the majority of his career in Colorado, Tulo spent a lot of time on the DL. However, when he was in the lineup he was the best and most productive player on the field. Greg Bird has had nearly 250 at-bats this season and his batting average is hovering around that of Mario Mendosa. Bird has potential, but to this point has been unreliable in pinstripes. Therefore if the Yankees want to have third base ready for Manny Machado, the Yankees can move Miguel Andújar at first base.
They can then use Greg Bird as a trade piece for another potential starter. Because while Manny Machado’s interest was merely hinted at Patrick Corbin put his desire out on front street to be a New York Yankee.
All Comes Down To Dollars And Sense
Obviously until five days after the 2018 World Series is over this is all speculation with a hint of wishful thinking. But to put the idea of bringing in an otherworldly talent like Manny Machado on this team.
A team with the likes of Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andújar and others is almost like playing a video game. However, we must temper our elation just a bit because GM Brian Cashman has gotten this team to this point by being smart with their funds.
Albeit this team has a wealth of top-tier prospects in the system and after this season will fall under the luxury tax threshold. But the spending spree we’ve come to enjoy as fans of this team ended when “THE BOSS” Mr. George M. Steinbrenner relinquished control in 2008. So while Manny Machado may prefer the navy blue pinstripes of the Yankees, it will be the dollars and common sense that will win out in the end.