Free-agent shortstop Manny Machado has admitted in the past he doesn't hustle as much as others, which could be a concern for the New York Yankees as they consider potentially signing him this offseason.
"Certainly, those comments are troubling," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday, per Paul Newberry of the Associated Press.
However, Steinbrenner also noted that it will be up to general manager Brian Cashman to decide whether or not to pursue Machado.
"Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base and...you know, whatever can happen," Machado said, per Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. "That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."
Of course, it's easy to overlook hustle questions when you earn four All-Star selections in the last six years. The 26-year-old finished last season with 37 home runs, 107 RBI and a .297 batting average.
Still, the Yankees will likely have questions about his past comments before signing him to a long-term deal.
"If we're interested in any player, we sit down with them face-to-face with their agent and ask them, 'Where did this come from? What context was around the entire interview? What point were you trying to make? How do you justify it?'" Steinbrenner said, per Newberry. "Because that ain't going to sell where we play baseball."
Hustle or not, Machado's hitting ability would undoubtedly make a positive impact for the Yankees offense as they try to keep up with the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.