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Keidel: Rich Yankees Try To Get Richer By Pursuing Machado

But Do Bombers Really Need Orioles Star?

Jason Keidel
July 10, 2018 - 12:03 pm
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In case Yankees fans wonder why countless millions hate their beloved Bombers, the latest debate is perfect, pristine evidence, a smoking baseball gun. 

The Yankees are on pace to win well over 100 games. They have the best bullpen in the sport, perhaps the most fertile farm system in the sport and a conga line of young studs already in the majors. Yet they now need Manny Machado, the all-world, All-Star third baseman now toiling on the hapless Orioles. Everyone agrees that Machado -- who's batting .309 with 21 home runs and 60 RBIs -- should be traded, but to a team that actually needs him. The Yankees don't need anything beyond a starting pitcher.  

LISTEN: Boomer & Gio React To Machado Trade Talk

The Yanks have what normal folks call rich-people problems. This is someone lusting over a Ferrari because he's tired of his 2-year-old Porsche. 

If you think the Yankees need a bat -- on a club that already has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres -- they don't. The Bombers are third in Major League Baseball in runs scored (460), second in OPS (.793), second in total bases (1,409) and laughably ahead of everyone in home runs (150), 20 more than second-place Boston.

The Yankees are virtually guaranteed to make the playoffs, but since the Red Sox have forgotten how to lose, they may have to play in the wild-card game. Rich-people problems. The Yankees came within one game of the World Series last year, and thus anything less than an AL pennant would be a disappointment. Rich-people problems. 

It's not enough that the Yanks added last year's NL MVP (Stanton), who clubbed 59 homers, to an already loaded club? And basically got him for the baseball equivalent of spare parts, without letting go of any of their blue-chip prospects. They now need Machado, which would make the Yankees a dream team. Golden State Warriors aside, such teams tend to flame out ignominiously. 

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Forget the toxic karma that comes with the rich getting obscenely rich. Unlike their acquisition of Stanton, the Yankees would have to trade someone they actually value to get Machado. 

While flipping between the Yanks and Mets games Monday, I accidentally wound up watching the Nationals-Pirates game. During the broadcast, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian, praising the way the Pirates have handled their microscopic resources, said a small-market GM told him that if his team whiffed on a top-shelf talent, it could set the squad back four years, while the Sox, Yanks and Dodgers can miss on a big-ticket trade and simply turn the page a year later, their mammoth wallets absorbing the hit the way a lake covers a pebble. And if the Yankees don't reach the World Series this year, would Machado have really been the difference? 

As a Yankees fan since 1977, who watched free-agent acquisition Reggie Jackson swat three homers on three pitches from three pitchers in the '77 World Series, I don't feel guilty while the Yankees preen down from their biblical perch at the rest of the baseball proletarians. I'm plagued with the native hubris that comes with being born and raised in Manhattan, while falling in love with the pinstripes the second I saw them. 

But I can surely understand why people are sick of New York, New Yorkers and the New York Yankees. Leave Manny Machado alone. Go win 105 games and just live with the relative risk that comes with it -- a risk millions of baseball fans wish they could take every year. 

Follow Jason on Twitter at @JasonKeidel