The Yankees have joined a growing group of teams in talks with the Orioles for superstar infielder Manny Machado, sources confirmed Monday night.
The Yankees also have been showing interest in star Orioles closer Zach Britton, Fancred reported over the weekend, and they are now weighing both of their division rivals' key trade pieces. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported the Yankees were showing "increasing" interest in Machado on Monday, with the suggestion he would be a candidate to take over third base if the two long-time division rivals can work out a deal.
The Orioles have shown a deep reluctance in the past to trade with the Yankees, though New York was one of the teams to make a run at Machado over the winter, and Orioles GM Dan Duquette said at the time they would make a trade with the Yankees is the price was right. While long-time Orioles owner Peter Angelos has declined to make trades with the Yankees, his sons Lou and John have increased roles and are expected to make the final call on prospective trades now.
If the Orioles are willing to trade with the Yankees, New York could have a major advantage in trade talks since they have one of the best farm systems in the game. The Dodgers, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Braves, Phillies, Indians and Cubs were all reported to have made offers for Machado, according to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.
But while some reports were painting the Brewers as moving up to the top of the list, word came Monday afternoon that nothing was close with anyone. So the Yankees may see an opening to pounce.
The belief is that the Yankees would be considering Machado for third base, and while rookie Miguel Andujar has played well and shown a penchant for extra base hits, his defensive metrics aren't great. This Yankees team already has one of the best offenses in the game, and the addition of Machado would make it downright scary, and especially strong from the right side if they could combine Machado with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. That right-handedness is critical as they continue their battle with the Red Sox, who are lefty heavy in the rotation thanks to Chris Sale, David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Yankees' interest in Britton was perhaps an even bigger surprise considering New York's stacked bullpen. But with a weak market for rotation help, the Yankees are looking for other ways to improve. Roch Kubatko of MASN reported the Orioles would consider package deals including both Machado and Britton, and New York's American League team is apparently one of the team's that would be very intrigued by such a deal.