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Yankees taking head scratching position in Machado negotiations

According to multiple reports, the Yankees are not interested in going to 10 years with Manny Machado. Instead, it’s been reported that the Yankees are comfortable with a seven year contract, possibly eight years to get a deal done.

The industry speculation seems to be that the Yankees view it as too big of a risk and don’t want to be stuck with Machado when he starts to decline in his thirties. Everything is speculative, but the general consensus seems to be that the Yankees aren’t going to offer more than $260-$270 million to land Machado.

The obvious question that needs to be asked is, what changed from last year?

The Yankees had no problem committing $265 million over 10 years to Giancarlo Stanton. I understand that Stanton was coming off an MVP season, but I could easily argue that Machado has been a better and more consistent player since coming into the league than Stanton has. He plays a more valuable position, is a better defender, he’s younger, hits for a higher batting average, and strikes out less. He’s also much more durable, playing at least 155 games in five of his seven big league seasons, compared to just two out of nine seasons for Stanton.

With his bigger frame, Stanton is much more likely to break down in his thirties than Machado is (It seems as if the Yankees are already preparing for this, as they prefer to DH Stanton almost exclusively  in order to save his legs/hedge against the inevitable breakdown.) Stanton obviously has more raw power, but in terms of overall home run production, they are almost identical. Stanton hit 38 homers last season, Machado hit 37.

The Stanton trade instantly made the Yankees better last season, and I would trade Starlin Castro for Giancarlo Stanton 100 times out of 100 if presented the opportunity. (I actually think Stanton is going to have a monster year in his second season with the Yankees, similar to A-Rod once he adjusted to New York in his second season.)

The hang up for me is that Machado is younger, fills a position of need, and based on body type and athletic ability, will probably age better than Stanton will long term while providing more combined value on both sides of the ball.

The Yankees were willing to commit 10 years to a 28 year old glorified DH, but they won’t go more than eight years for the 26-year-old best third basemen in baseball?

Something isn’t adding up.