The Yankees have made a strong offer for Orioles superstar Manny Machado and are said to be in the game to acquire him, an MLB official told Fancred.
It isn't known whether it's too early to call the Yankees the "favorites" for Machado, but they are continuing discussions with the Orioles Wednesday evening.
One thing is clear: the Yankees do not appear deterred by Machado’s pronouncement that, "I am a shortstop," as sources say the Yankees would employ Machado at third base if they were to acquire him.
The Dodgers, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Indians and Cubs are among the other teams said to be involved in the Machado talks to one degree or another in recent days. The Yankees' involvement was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and MLB Network, who said they had "increasing" interest Monday.
In the past the Orioles have been reluctant to deal with the Yankees but the suggestion is that this time there are, "no restrictions."
The Yankees' fit has seemed a bit curious since Didi Gregorius has been excellent at shortstop and rookie Miguel Andujar has been very good at third, with 40 extra-base hits. But the Yankees do love Machado, who hit two home runs in a 6-5 Orioles victory over the Yankees Tuesday night, and they might be in strong position to land the slugger due to their stacked farm system. They have top prospects at all positions, and the Orioles could use infielders and a catcher, in particular, beyond the obvious need for pitching.
The Yankees are intent on re-setting their tax rate by staying below the $197-million threshold this year, and doing so would put them in position to potentially sign Machado long term as well, which would make him more than an in-season rental. They are thought to have about $15 million to spare below the threshold, and a Machado deal would cut that roughly in half, which could still leave them room for a starting pitcher.
Any future Machado deal would force them to address a log jam at shortstop in 2019, as Gregorius is still under control for another season, but that is a bridge they would be crossing in trading for Machado now as well.
The Yankees are said to have found the price tag on top rotation target J.A. Happ "high" to this point, but they retain interest in the Blue Jays starter. Of course, they'd love to have a chance to acquire either Mets star Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, but they don't believe the Mets would trade either ace crosstown, if they trade them at all.
Seven teams were reported to have made offers for Machado by Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun on Sunday. Now there is an eighth.
Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside
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