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Simple question, are we better?
12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 12:48AM #1
presceo
Posts: 190


Rosenthal: The Yankees are now out on Manny Machado, right? Well…








By Ken Rosenthal 2h ago  








I’ll believe the Yankees are out on Manny Machado when I see him wearing another team’s jersey at his introductory news conference.


This is not to say the Yankees are “in” on Machado, not after reaching agreement on Friday with free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu on a two-year, $24 million contract.


But I’m guessing the Yankees will follow their usual practice. Stay in contact with Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano. Wait for the market to fully form. Then decide at the end if they are willing to meet Machado’s price.


The answer might very well be “no” if Machado refuses to lower his expectations; the Yankees’ party line is they will not pay him anywhere near $300 million. As Jack Curry of the YES Network said on Twitter, “With the addition of LeMahieu, it’s another indication that the Yankees appear unlikely to sign Machado.”


No doubt, that is the most probable outcome, perhaps even 95 percent probable. The Yankees already are carrying Giancarlo Stanton’s monster contract, and they eventually will need to pay Aaron Judge big money. As I’ve written previously, they do not need to jump. They are better set up than the Red Sox to remain a power over the next five years, and they might prefer to spend on other potential free agents in the future — perhaps Nolan Arenado after the 2019 season, perhaps Mike Trout or Mookie Betts after 2020. Free agents who will be older than Machado or Bryce Harper, both of whom are 26, but possess fewer warts.


There is only one thing that gives me pause, one possibility that even other executives in the Machado bidding do not entirely dismiss.


We’ve all seen the Yankees pull the offseason version of the hidden-ball trick.


Remember Stanton? Hardly anyone thought the Yankees had a chance of acquiring him last winter until — voila! — he magically appeared in pinstripes.


Go back further, to the George Steinbrenner days, when the Yankees showed an even more distinct pattern of materializing out of nowhere to grab players they wanted. Mark Teixeira before the 2009 season. Johnny Damon before 2006 after general manager Brian Cashman talked about playing Bubba Crosby — Bubba Crosby! — in center field.


Times have changed. Hal Steinbrenner is much more disciplined than his father was, much less impulsive. The Yankees won 100 games last season without Machado, and their ratings on YES were their highest since 2012, in part because fans love their young, homegrown talent.


The team’s moves thus far — trading for left-hander James Paxton, adding LeMahieu and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, retaining lefties CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ, lefty reliever Zach Britton and outfielder Brett Gardner — qualify, at the very least, as solid. And the Yankees still could sign righty reliever Adam Ottavino and make other additions.


Still, after they spent years trying to get under the luxury-tax threshold, it sure is odd the Yankees might end up exceeding the $206 million boundary for 2019 without signing Machado, Bryce Harper or even left-hander Patrick Corbin. They currently are more than $7 million over, according to RosterResource.com.


Wasn’t the idea was to get under the threshold, re-set the penalty rate to the minimum 20 percent on every dollar spent above and then splurge on a major star? None of the Yankees’ offseason additions fits that description. And for those keeping score, the most famous franchise in North American professional sports has not won a World Series since 2009.


The addition of LeMahieu creates a glut of infielders, ensuring the Yankees will be fine — perhaps even more than fine — if the Phillies, White Sox or some other club lands Machado. On the other hand, if the Yankees want to pivot, they are not exactly locked into their current infield options.


They could trade third baseman Miguel Andújar, a possibility that rival clubs insist the Yankees have been exploring all offseason because of Andújar’s defensive shortcomings. They also could turn away from Tulowitzki, to whom they are obligated to pay only the minimum $555,000 salary next season.


True, the Yankees persuaded Tulowitzki to join them by promising him the first crack at shortstop as Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery. Cashman, regarded throughout the industry as a straight shooter, is not known for breaking his word. But because of injuries, Tulo played in only 66 games the past two seasons, none in 2018. He is said to be in excellent shape, but no one knows if he will even get out of spring training healthy.


If the Yankees were to sign Machado, they could find a soft landing spot for Tulowitzki with one of the other clubs that pursued him in free agency, though Tulo would need to waive the full no-trade clause Cashman awarded him. Machado could play third in place of Andújar, with Gleyber Torres sliding over to short and LeMahieu staying at second, which is where he belongs. The Yankees envision LeMahieu as a Ben Zobrist type, bouncing all over the infield, but he ranked second in defensive runs saved last season among second baseman. Why compromise his strength?


The Yankees probably would need a defense-first shortstop such as Adeiny Hechavarria to protect Torres, but such players are in plentiful supply. Admittedly, we’re talking about a lot of moving parts. But the Yankees as presently constituted — with LeMahieu, Tulowitzki, Torres and Andújar, not to mention Greg Bird and Luke Voit at first and Gregorius in waiting — already are talking about a lot of moving parts.


If they could get Machado on terms they deemed acceptable, would they really turn away?


Well, some in the industry say the Yankees shifted their focus away from Machado after reaching an agreement with Tulowitzki on New Year’s Day. Cashman, though, will never say they are out, due to stipulations in the collective-bargaining agreement preventing club officials from making public statements that might influence the open market.


Maybe Cashman doesn’t need to say it. Maybe his actions speak louder than words.


Fair enough. I just want to see Machado in another uniform before I am certain he will not be a Yankee.


(Photo: Rob Tringali / MLB Photos via Getty Images)





12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 9:32AM #2
bruner4329
Posts: 3,648

Too many RH bats in lineup. Would also like to see another upgrade to rotation and another BP arm.

12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 11:25AM #3
nost
Posts: 324

I honestly don't see this team better.   All they did this offseason was make their bench stronger + Happ + Paxton + Brit which is good but as someone mentioned they Yankees passed on alot of talent this year.  I'm not happy as a ankee fan.



They already have the places in peace for a WS run Judge, Stanton, Luis, Tor, Gary but they are not going outside (free agent) to put them over the edge.



The signing of Gardner and CC was the nail in the coffin for me.

12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 11:26AM #4
nost
Posts: 324

Jan 12, 2019 -- 9:32AM, bruner4329 wrote:


Too many RH bats in lineup. Would also like to see another upgrade to rotation and another BP arm.





I's like to see a top of the line #1 / 2 SP and a real LH hitting full time 1B and something else.  



This crap they signed this offseason is an embarrassing I'm actually thinking about not renewing my Direct tv baseball package.



Yankee owners got to cheap

12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 1:17PM #5
yank0428
Posts: 17,490

I see them better with hopefully an improved Sanchez, full healthy year of Judge . Better rotation and bench but the goal is to win a Championship every year. Hal says it every year when addressing the teams goals. Not sure they did what needs to be done to do that so he's just giving lip service to the fans.

12 months ago  ::  Jan 12, 2019 - 11:00PM #6
theBaron
Posts: 1,797

Cashman needs a LEFTY BAT ( Harper ?()  , AND ANOTHER STARTER ..

"it's when the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning .....and then slowly pull away"
Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert , on a perfect afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
12 months ago  ::  Jan 13, 2019 - 12:41PM #7
mscamaguey
Posts: 817

My problem with CC is that he is great first half of the season, then he fades. 

12 months ago  ::  Jan 13, 2019 - 12:54PM #8
thestraw44
Posts: 974

No! There’s too many weaknesses (defense, starting pitching, timely hitting,coaching) that still are up in the air for my taste. The planets have to align for a Cashman built team to win the division. There are quite a few yankee fans that are counting on our competition to be weaker to win and to me that speaks volumes about their confidence (cleanup Undecided). I’d be content with everyone staying healthy bc the gambling man (Trashman) is asking for too much from all the question marks on this volatile squad to succeed. I felt better last year at this time. 

12 months ago  ::  Jan 14, 2019 - 7:12AM #9
yankoldfan
Posts: 8,599

Jan 13, 2019 -- 12:54PM, thestraw44 wrote:


No! There’s too many weaknesses (defense, starting pitching, timely hitting,coaching) that still are up in the air for my taste. The planets have to align for a Cashman built team to win the division. There are quite a few yankee fans that are counting on our competition to be weaker to win and to me that speaks volumes about their confidence (cleanup ). I’d be content with everyone staying healthy bc the gambling man (Trashman) is asking for too much from all the question marks on this volatile squad to succeed. I felt better last year at this time. 




I beg to differ with you, our starting pitching is much better... I'm not quite sure where our defense is at this point, I don't think Ca$hman is 100% done yet.. But other than Didi being out it's probably just as good if not better... I personally think Andujar will be better, by how much, that is to be seen, but he's been working hard on his defense and by doing that it should make him better.. Our BP is just as good if not better, we didn't have Britton at the start last year, we've lost Robertson, but I'd take Britton over him at this point in their careers.. I think for the start of the season, we didn't have Voit last year, but we have him this year... I'm hoping Bird can have a good spring and come out of it healthy, that alone will make the firstbase position better than last year... I agree the biggest loss is Didi, but there's nothing we can do about his injury.. Maybe Tolu if healthy, at one time while being healthy was a very good SS, maybe better than Didi ?? Still, on paper, I'd have to say we're better by some than last year, but I'll add, I think Ca$hman will add another piece or two ??

12 months ago  ::  Jan 14, 2019 - 8:45AM #10
RobS44
Posts: 5,608

Jan 14, 2019 -- 7:12AM, yankoldfan wrote:


Jan 13, 2019 -- 12:54PM, thestraw44 wrote:


No! There’s too many weaknesses (defense, starting pitching, timely hitting,coaching) that still are up in the air for my taste. The planets have to align for a Cashman built team to win the division. There are quite a few yankee fans that are counting on our competition to be weaker to win and to me that speaks volumes about their confidence (cleanup ). I’d be content with everyone staying healthy bc the gambling man (Trashman) is asking for too much from all the question marks on this volatile squad to succeed. I felt better last year at this time. 




I beg to differ with you, our starting pitching is much better... I'm not quite sure where our defense is at this point, I don't think Ca$hman is 100% done yet.. But other than Didi being out it's probably just as good if not better... I personally think Andujar will be better, by how much, that is to be seen, but he's been working hard on his defense and by doing that it should make him better.. Our BP is just as good if not better, we didn't have Britton at the start last year, we've lost Robertson, but I'd take Britton over him at this point in their careers.. I think for the start of the season, we didn't have Voit last year, but we have him this year... I'm hoping Bird can have a good spring and come out of it healthy, that alone will make the firstbase position better than last year... I agree the biggest loss is Didi, but there's nothing we can do about his injury.. Maybe Tolu if healthy, at one time while being healthy was a very good SS, maybe better than Didi ?? Still, on paper, I'd have to say we're better by some than last year, but I'll add, I think Ca$hman will add another piece or two ??




Yes I think that they are better.  Heck, if Sanchez hitting the way he did in 2017 was the only change they would be better.  But the fact is they could have been so much better had Hal been willing to spend more.

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