Off Day Chatter

Opinion: Injuries show that Machado is a necessity, not a luxury for ’19

When the Yankees were talking to the Orioles about superstar Manny Machado back in July, there was a lot of chatter from various fans and writers that the Yankees didn’t need Machado and that it would be overkill to bring him aboard. Fans thought that the Yankees should prioritize pitching instead, and that they didn’t need any more offense.

A few days after Machado was traded, Aaron Judge went down, and so did the Yankees division hopes. All of a sudden Shane Robinson was starting, the Yankees got swept by Boston, and are now fighting tooth and nail just to secure the top wild card spot.

This isn’t meant to ridicule people that thought Machado was overkill, and my goal is not to sound like a Monday morning quarterback who somehow saw the Judge injury coming.

Moreover, it is to demonstrate how quickly depth can wither away due to injury, even on a roster as deep and talented as the Yankees. Every starting position player other than Gardner, Andujar and Stanton have seen the DL, along with three fifths of the starting rotation and the closer, Aroldis Chapman.

Although the Yankees have been extremely unlucky with injuries, this season is a prime example of how you can never have too many stud players. The amount of injuries illustrates how signing Machado next year isn’t a luxury at all. It’s a necessity.

As Shane Robinson put up pathetic at bat after pathetic at bat in that Boston series, I couldn’t help but wonder how that series could have been different if Machado had been in the lineup. Maybe they still would’ve gotten swept, and maybe they wouldn’t have won the division anyway, but they would definitely be in a much better position had they acquired him than they are now.

When free agency rolls around, I can already here arguments some fans will make against signing Machado:

“He’s overkill! They need pitching!”

“They are going to need to pay Judge, Sanchez, and Severino down the road. We can’t take on any more big contracts!”

“This is already a great group! We don’t want to disrupt the chemistry!”

“We already have Miguel Andujar and Didi- there’s nowhere to put him!”

These are all weak arguments for various reasons. Signing Machado and signing a pitcher are not mutually exclusive. A lot can happen in five years, and we have no way of knowing which young players will warrant long term contracts.

As exciting as this group is, they haven’t won anything yet, and they are probably going to need some more firepower to hang with the Red Sox and Astros in the coming years.

Manny Machado is 26 years old and is arguably the best infielder in all of baseball. He would instantly be the best infielder on the Yankees, and it wouldn’t be close.

The Yankees have some exciting young infielders, but none of them are as talented or as proven as Machado. To think that the Yankees don’t need Machado because they have some decent young infielders is misguided.

There’s an old baseball adage that “You can’t have too much pitching.”

The bottom line is, you can’t have too much talent.

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