Red Sox

Manny Machado wanted to be with Yankees or Red Sox, says MLB exec

usatsi_11547264.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Manny Machado wanted to be with Yankees or Red Sox, says MLB exec

Manny Machado still hasn't signed a contract on the MLB free-agent market, but according to one MLB executive, the former Baltimore Orioles shortstop has had his sights on playing in the American League East again.

Fancred's Jon Heyman dropped this nugget in a story published Thursday about Machado's interest in the New York Yankees and, at least at one time, the Boston Red Sox.

The Yankees already said in this space it won’t be $300M for them, so they are hoping his preference carries the day. “I think he ends up in New York,” one rival exec says. “He wanted to be with the Yankees or Red Sox. We’ve known that for a while. And it’s not going to be Boston.”

Machado isn't coming to the Red Sox, for a few obvious reasons. He had a very public feud with the Sox in 2017 after he slid hard into Dustin Pedroia at second base during an April game in Baltimore. He also rubbed Red Sox fans, and maybe some players, the wrong way when he stepped on Boston first baseman Steve Pearce while running down the first base line in Game 4 of the 2018 World Series. 

The Yankees, however, are a real threat to sign Machado, as Heyman also notes. They need another elite starting pitcher more than a powerful bat, but the appeal of a player of Machado's caliber is pretty strong. New York is determined to improve its roster and avenge last season's playoff exit at the hands of the Red Sox in the American League Division Series. Adding a player with Machado's talent certainly would help them quite a bit in the arms race against Boston, while also adding more fuel to a heated rivalry that was re-born in 2018. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

The Red Sox have employed all manner of center fielders throughout their history.

Whereas left field has generally been home to run producers and right to all-around threats, the men in the middle have covered a wide range of styles. There are straight speedsters like Jacoby Ellsbury, defensive dynamos like Jackie Bradley Jr., fun-loving eccentric types like Johnny Damon, underappreciated standouts like Ellis Burks, and even plodding sluggers like Tony Armas.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Only in recent years have the Red Sox consistently prioritized defense in the role, from Coco Crisp to Ellsbury to Bradley.

But that doesn't mean they haven't featured some talented players there, including a turn-of-century Hall of Famer, the younger brother of baseball royalty, and the one who fans over 50 still lament got away.

Click here for the Top 5 center fielders in Red Sox history.

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

There was once a time when a list of baseball's top 100 players would've been dominated by men in their 30s or even 40s. In 2004, for instance, the NL MVP was 39-year-old Barry Bonds and the Cy Young went to 41-year-old Roger Clemens. It was the seventh respective award for each.

We now can be almost certain that neither accomplishment was achieved without help, but if any good came from that era, it's that it forced baseball to address its PED problem, which means that a top 100 list now looks very different.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Our list will reflect that shift. What it won't include are three pitchers guaranteed not to play in 2020 because of Tommy John surgery — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and of course Chris Sale of the Red Sox.

Over the next four weeks, NBC Sports Boston will unveil its top 100 players, 25 at a time, and the list is dominated by youth. Never have young players been so essential to winning, whether it's 20-year-old Juan Soto helping lead the Nationals to last fall's shocking World Series title, or 23-year-old Cody Bellinger being named NL MVP.

Click here for Part 1: Players ranked 100th to 76th on our list.