Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman seems to be making the most of his time at baseball’s annual winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Following Tuesday morning’s trade which sent veteran third baseman Chase Headley back to San Diego in a reunion with the Padres, the Yankees reportedly “expressed interest” in making a deal with the Baltimore Orioles for All-Star third baseman Manny Machado, according to ESPN insider Buster Olney. The report also lists the Chicago White Sox as a potential suitor.
Although trades between division rivals aren’t customary, Baltimore will likely shop the 25-year-old slugger and superb defender this season, as he’s eligible for free agency in 2019 (making $11.5 million in 2018). With that in mind, the Yankees could offer the Orioles a sufficient package of prospects in exchange for Machado, but at the moment, it’s unclear what a package may look like.
New York could also wait until next winter to make a move for Machado, rather than yielding top-ranked farmhands in the meantime. One of the Yankees’ goals is to be under the luxury tax threshold after 2018, and if this is accomplished (which is more than possible), they will have money to offer big-ticket items like Machado.
In parting ways with Headley, New York currently has a void at the corner bag, but there are internal and external solutions that Cashman and ownership could pursue. If the Yankees want to promote from within, third baseman Miguel Andujar — the club’s fifth-best prospect, according to MLBPipeline — is an option, as is baseball’s top-ranked prospect Gleyber Torres, although he’s expected to assume second base duties following the Giancarlo Stanton trade, which sent Starlin Castro to the Miami Marlins.
Back on Nov. 24, ex-Mets general manager and MLB.com columnist Jim Duquette wrote about potential blockbuster deals, and in the piece, one of the trades involved both Machado and Torres. That excerpt can be found here.
In 2017, Machado slashed .259/.310/.471 with 33 home runs and 95 RBI. He also posted a 3.5 WAR, according to BaseballReference.
Other reports have listed free agent Todd Frazier as another third base option for the Yankees. Frazier, 31, joined New York at the trade deadline last summer, and played a significant role in the club’s dramatic ALCS run against the Houston Astros.