Yankees Rumors: Rival Teams Expect NY to Pursue Manny Machado in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28:  Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his first inning strike out against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The New York Yankees could be one of the teams to make a major splash this offseason and remain potential suitors for superstar shortstop Manny Machado.

According to Andy Martino of SNY: "Many rivals believe that the Yanks will ultimately pursue Machado. '[General manager Brian Cashman] is on him, believe me,' says one rival executive."

Martino previously reported the Yankees were "lukewarm" on Machado given his "postseason antics." Machado hit just .227 in 16 playoff games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, though he did add three homers and 12 RBI. He was mostly a non-factor in the World Series, hitting just .182 with three RBI.

Machado raised eyebrows when he was asked by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic why he hadn't run hard on a grounder in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

"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," he said. "That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."

Machado did acknowledge he needed to give more effort in the interview and said the play in question was a bad look, though his manager, Dave Roberts, didn't seem particularly bothered by it.

"I know that he's doing a lot of things to help us win games," he said. "I don't feel a need to have to address it. Some guys do that and take it, 'I'm going to run so hard because I'm so mad.' He's guilty of going the other way. I don't think it's a disrespect to his teammates."

There's little question Machado helps his team. He is one of the best players in baseball, having hit .297 with 37 homers and 107 RBI in 2018, his fourth straight season with at least 35 dingers and 85 RBI. In the field, he's capable of playing third base and shortstop and has two Gold Gloves to his name.

That is why he's in line to earn around $300 million this offseason. And he would give the Yankees a frightening trio in the middle of their lineup, joining Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

New York's focus seems to be on starting pitching, however, with the team having already re-signed CC Sabathia and traded for James Paxton. It could also be in the market for free agents like Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ, though Machado reportedly remains on the table for the Bronx Bombers.

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