Machado Believed Yanks Had Salary Range In Mind For Him, But It Obviously Fell Short

February 20, 2019 - 2:23 pm


More details are emerging about the Yankees' flirtation with free agent outfielder Manny Machado.

The star third baseman agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. And although there was constant buzz about the Yankees possibly swooping in at the last minute to snatch up the four-time All-Star, they never truly seemed to be major players in the Machado sweepstakes.

The Yankees hosted Machado for a visit in December, taking him to dinner at Ristorante Morini on the Upper East Side. Although, according to multiple reports, the Yankees never made a formal offer, that doesn't mean numbers weren't discussed.

According to WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, Machado came away from the meeting with the idea that the Yankees would be willing to offer him a contract in the range of $220 million to $240 million. The belief, Heyman reported, is that Machado wanted to sign with the Yankees, but apparently not bad enough to accept significantly less money.

The idea of the Yankees being outbid -- if you can even call it that considering there wasn't a formal offer -- won't sit well with fans who hoped to see Machado in pinstripes. But managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner made it clear earlier this month that he's thinking bigger picture, knowing the team might have to lock up homegrown stars such as Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the coming years. (The Yankees got started last week by signing ace pitcher Luis Severino to a four-year deal.)

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Besides, Machado doesn't represent the end of the line for star players who might become available. Colorado Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado will be a free agent after this season, and there have already been rumors that the Yankees might be interested in making a run at arguably the best third baseman in the game. And Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, considered by many to be the game's best overall player, is set to hit free agency after the 2020 season.

Of course, Bryce Harper has yet to sign with a team, but there have been practically no credible reports this winter linking him to the Yankees.