The Yankees/Manny Machado rumors re-emerged Saturday morning, as USA Today Sport's Bob Nightengale reports that the two sides have mutual interest in a lucrative deal next winter. Machado, still a Baltimore Oriole for the time being, is entering his final season before heading to free agency this winter.
Machado, 25, took a step back in 2017 from his prolific offensive production in years prior, but still finished the season with a solid 259/.310/.471 slashline (107 OPS+). While Machado led all of baseball in batted balls 95 MPH or above in 2017, his low launch angle turned a lot of those barrels into groundouts and lineouts. Machado's worth more than just his bat, however; the superstar defender has won two Gold Gloves at the hot corner in his six MLB seasons.
The Yankees' interest in Machado has been well-documented this winter—The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported in December that Orioles owner Peter Angelos would block a Machado deal with New York due to their inter-division rivalry. While it looks for now like the Orioles will hang onto Machado at least until the Trade Deadline, New York is still pushing to add the superstar third baseman into their future plans.
Only one issue with that—Machado says he wants to transition to shortstop, which could have an impact on where he ultimately chooses to sign.
Manny Machado says there have been no contract negotiations with #Orioles on long term deal and he definitely wants to stay at shortstop as a free agent— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 17, 2018
That's not to say that Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is going to stop GM Brian Cashman from adding Machado, but it certainly makes things more difficult on New York. Machado fits easily onto the current Yankees roster as a third baseman; the club currently has rookie Miguel Andujar lined up as the Opening Day starter at third.
In related Yankees news, New York has interest in free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, but only if he's willing to sign a one-year deal.