Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado


Keidel: Yankees Don't Need Machado, Another $200M Contract

Need A Few Arms To Get By Boston

Jason Keidel
January 15, 2019 - 1:54 pm

If you believe that USS Manny Machado has long left New York Harbor, Yankees fans should feel relief. 

Word is that the Chicago White Sox already made an offer, and the Philadelphia Phillies are only other serious contender for Machado's services. This spares the Yankees of dropping another $200 million on a player who already says he's not "Johnny Hustle," who could very likely turn into a pumpkin once he gets the megabucks that someone of his immense talent attracts. 

Sure, the Yanks may wonder how Didi Gregorius looks when he returns from Tommy John surgery sometime between June and August, according to GM Brian Cashman. Machado could parachute onto the diamond and make it moot, and become an instant upgrade at shortstop. 

But do the Yankees really need Machado? Do they need to climb up to the attic, slap the dust off the Darth Vader mask, and return to the days of reckless spending on mercenaries? They took Giancarlo Stanton because it was perfect timing, cost them very little other than cash, and gave them a big bat and some veteran presence on a pimple-faced lineup of Baby Bombers. Despite his seamless transition into pinstripes, some fans don't even want Stanton here. So why try it again?

Wasn't Gregorius part of the shocking, whiplash turnaround for these Yankees? Didn't Didi help the Yankees condense their rebuild from several years to just one year? Wasn't this light-hitting SS from Arizona with the funny name become a household name in quick order? Didn't Didi Gregorius look, play, and feel like a Yankee?

Much of the current charm around these Bombers is the fact that they're young, eager, and largely home-grown. The team motif is so refreshing it has the locals comparing this bunch to the Joe Torre clubs of the 1990s. (A respectful bow to the lifelong Yankee, Mel Stottlemyre, who just passed away at age 77.)

And Gregorius is far from a stiff. He never hit more than seven home runs as a Diamondback, but has hit at least 20 homers his last three seasons in Gotham, including 27 last year. In 2018, Gregorius also had career highs in on-base percentage (.335), slugging percentage (.494), and, naturally, OPS (.829). He also had career bests in walks, triples and runs scored, all while playing the fewest games of his Yankees career (134). 

These Yankees are refreshing and antithetical to the days of making it rain on every free agent who winked at them. These guys like each other, play hard for each other and don't need to break the bank for someone who already admits he doesn't always try his hardest. Make what you will of it, but the Baltimore Orioles traded him and, right after a run to the World Series, the Dodgers didn't lock him down a day after Game 5. 

The Yankees were prudent when they let the 30-year-old Robinson Cano walk, rather than sign him to an eight-year deal. Machado turns 27 in July, and will likely want a deal that takes him to age 35 when he won't be nearly the player he is today. The Yankees will spend nearly $200 million on their 2019 team, which is more than enough to reach deep into October.  

To win in baseball, like most team sports, the winning blueprint calls for a core of young players on their first contracts, seasoned by a few seasoned vets. The Yankees already made their monetary splash with Stanton. Don't double down and commit $450-to-$500 million to just two players. They have enough gloves and bats to win another 100 games this year. They only need a few arms to get them over that Boston speed-bump. 

And they definitely don't need Johnny Hustle. 

Twitter: @JasonKeidel