Well, this was unexpected.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting via The Athletic that “according to major-league sources, the Yankees are showing increased interest in [Manny] Machado,” the Orioles star infielder who was just named the starting shortstop for the American League All-Star team.
An acquisition of Machado would leave a lot to unpack. He’s said he wants to be a shortstop, so what happens to Didi Gregorius? Miguel Andújar has been impressive at third base: does he end up in the minors or shipped out for a top-line starting pitcher? What about Brandon Drury?
Machado has made it clear that he would like to be a shortstop in the future, but defensive metrics show that third base is where he’s truly elite on defense. At the plate, his skills continue to impress: .309/.379/.555 with 21 home runs in 2018.
Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports confirmed the Yankees have checked in with the Orioles on “Machado, starting pitching and relievers,” which would be congruent with reports from Rosenthal and Fancred’s Jon Heyman. Heyman linked the Yankees to Orioles closer Zach Britton.
Would the Yankees trade Andújar for an ace (think Jacob deGrom) if it meant landing Machado? Would they beef up the prospect package to an AL East rival if it meant the inclusion of Britton? It would certainly be a blockbuster, but there’s really only one way to find out.
If the Yankees can ensure Machado would willingly play third base, and can make the money work so that they can remain under the luxury tax threshold to add starting pitching, they should definitely make the Machado trade if the price is right.