Given the New York Yankees’ known interest in impending free agent Manny Machado, questions of his position have floated. With New York’s infield seemingly set, would the addition of Machado make sense?
After the seemingly endless speculation on Manny Machado‘s future position, he’s apparently OK with playing third base for the right team. That is, according to Fancred Sports’, Jon Heyman. Right after mentioning Machado’s willingness to play third, Heyman noted that the New York Yankees remain a top choice of the 26-year-old. Hm, I can’t spot the correlation.
He also said that Machado stuck to shortstop in Baltimore due to the lack of an established star at the position. So, it makes sense that he’d play third base in the right situation.
In terms of the Yankees, the potential fit of Machado in the infield remains questionable.
23-year-old Miguel Andujar has become a star, as he’s arguably the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year award. His third base defense isn’t quite there yet, but his bat has more than made up for his defensive miscues.
His fellow rookie, Gleyber Torres has been just as good. He’s entrenched as the teams second baseman for the long-term.
At shortstop, though, lays the teams biggest question; the fate of Didi Gregorius. He’s signed through 2018, but will be looking for an extension in the (very) near future.
He’s something that most clubs wouldn’t want to give up; a shortstop with stellar defense who can hit for average and power.
But, he’ll be 29 at the start of next season. Of course, 29 is relatively young for someone like Gregorius, who appears to be in his prime.
Would it make sense to let Didi walk, keep Machado at short and Andujar/Torres at third and second, respectively?
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Well, yes it makes a ton of sense. The only ‘loss’ from this move is the amount of dollars that would be spent on Machado. Gregorius is a solid, near-elite player, who will earn a sizable contract. But, he’s not Machado, and he won’t get anywhere near his paycheck.
For Machado to play third base, it’d require moving Andujar. It’s a move that would make little sense considering a few things. Most importantly, he’s 23 and won’t be a free agent till 2024. Also as important, he already is a top-3 third baseman in the game.
If Andujar were to be moved via trade, Machado could man third, with Gregorius at short (assuming he’s resigned) and Torres at second.
It’s not hard to see why the Yankees would take the first route over extending Gregorius. The team would save by not having to sign two infielders to large contracts.
In fact, the biggest negative from letting Gregorius walk could be his loss as one of the clubhouses most important leaders.
Machado to New York makes a ton of sense. The question is, what will they do to get there?