There's been noise this week that the Yankees are less aggressively after Manny Machado than anticipated.
On Friday afternoon, they agreed to a two-year deal with former Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu, according to Ken Rosenthal.
This does not definitively close the book on Machado going to New York, which has long been viewed as his ideal landing spot. But it does change the equation.
If they make no other infield moves, the Yankees would enter 2019 with LeMahieu at second base, Gleyber Torres or Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop and Miguel Andujar at third. Didi Gregorius is expected back in mid-July before becoming a free agent at the end of 2019.
The Yankees don't have a glaring need for Machado, so many will jump to the conclusion that they've moved on from Machado. All we're saying is never say never. Signing Machado would be about more than this year for the Yankees, who don't seem sold on the defensively-challenged Andujar at third base, and again, have a soon-to-be free agent in Gregorius.
The Yankees have been considered the Phillies' biggest obstacle to landing Machado because of the idea that he's wanted for years to play in the Bronx. If the Phils don't have to worry as much about the Yankees, their odds of landing Machado increase dramatically.
The White Sox are also after Machado but it has been reported by separate outlets that their offer has been for around $200 million and that they haven't yet shown a willingness to go beyond seven years.
If offers from the Phillies and White Sox are similar, the Phillies would give Machado a better chance to win immediately, if that is indeed what matters most to him.
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Baseball, basketball, football, no matter the sport, rarely does a star free agent’s decision come down to anything other than money and winning.
Manny Machado is making visits this week. He was in Chicago with the White Sox on Monday and will also visit Yankee Stadium before coming to Philly for a visit Thursday.
And while Machado makes the rounds, speculation is rampant that his other suitors are making moves to entice him.
First, there was the White Sox trading for first baseman Yonder Alonso, whose sister is Machado's wife and who lives in the same complex as him in Florida.
Then, there was the Yankees’ adding outfielder and future Hall of Famer Carlos Beltran to their front office. Beltran shares an agent with Machado.
Let’s be real. Neither development matters. Machado is not going to turn down extra money or extra years under contract because the White Sox now employ his brother-in-law, or because Beltran is now consulting with the Yankees.
This is Machado’s chance at a historic, life-changing payday. The money, realism of contending and position he’ll play are what matter most.
If Machado picks the Yankees, it will be because that’s where he’s always wanted to play. If he picks the White Sox, it will be because he’s a crazy person.
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Update: 3:45 p.m. — Patrick Corbin is reportedly close to signing a six-year deal, believed to be with a team other than the Yankees.
With the Jean Segura acquisition official, the Phillies' sights remain aggressively set on left-hander Patrick Corbin.
According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Phillies have "made it clear to Corbin that they won't be outbid."
This is very interesting because the assumption all along has been that Corbin would sign with the Yankees, the team he grew up rooting for. The Yankees, obviously, are a rich franchise not used to being outbid. Their need for Corbin lessened when they traded for James Paxton a few weeks ago, but they'd still love to fill out their rotation with another top-notch lefty.
Corbin is expected by many to make his decision as soon as this week.
Corbin is great, no doubt about it. Few lefties in the game get more swings-and-misses or strikeouts, few have a pitch as electric as his wipeout slider.
But Corbin is going to cost an insane amount of money. Yu Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs last offseason. That will undoubtedly be the starting point for Corbin, especially with two of the four richest teams in baseball vying for his services. My personal projection for Corbin is six years, $162 million. It's $27 million per year, compared to Darvish's $21M per year or the $24 million AAV on Cole Hamels' big contract.
This is what "stupid money" means, apparently. The Phillies already added about $35 million in future payroll with the Segura trade, are poised to make Corbin an enormous offer, and they remain focused on landing one of Manny Machado or Bryce Harper.
Spend it if ya got it, right?