Do the Yankees Need Manny Machado?
The regular season is over and we are all a bit bummed that the Yankees are no longer part of the post season. Still, we have to be honest, they weren’t as good as Boston or Houston so the best teams are still alive.
So now the Yankees front office have to wait until the end of the post season to begin to rebuild a team that hopefully will be better than the others in 2019. Everyone is already talking about the prospect of signing Manny Machado in the wake of Didi Gregorius’ injury. Let’s take a deep breath and think about what the Yankees really need. Will the team that hit 267 home runs in 2018 and scored 851 runs need to spend on offence? This doesn’t make sense to me. Lack of offense wasn’t the Yankees major weakness, it was pitching.
It is my belief that the only two starting pitchers from 2018 that have a guaranteed spot next season will be Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. The Yankees have been long connected to 30-year-old Patrick Corbin and It’s probably a good bet that he will be in pinstripes next season, but what about the other two rotation spots? Many are rooting for CC Sabathia to re-sign with the bombers for another season and others are calling for them to bring back second half hero JA Happ. Both of these things are viable options, but to me these moves feel a bit like the definition of insanity – If you put the same product out on the field and expect different results isn’t that a little insane?
If the Yankees are going to spend money on something, I believe pitching is the place to go. How about Dallas Keuchel or Charlie Morton? Perhaps a reunion with Nathan Eovaldi is in the cards. In November, the Seibu Lions will be posting 27-year-old left hander Yusei Kickuchi. In his seven years of pro ball he is 74-48 with an ERA of 2.81. Scouting shows that his fastball sits between 92-95 and occasionally hits 97-98. It is also said that he has a wipe out slider that seems to be his out pitch and probably accounts for many of his 925 career strikeouts. He is a couple years younger than any of the free agents on the market and he’s a lefty.
The contracts for Machado or Harper will probably start at ten years and are likely to be two of the most expensive contracts in history. The Yankees have had their share of bad contracts already. We all remember Alex Rodriguez and the one we are still living thru with Jacoby Ellsbury. The only ten-year contract that really panned out was Derek Jeter, but I challenge you all to name three other long-term deals that the buyers weren’t remorseful at the end.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the Yankees sign Machado and he is the starting shortstop. What happens to him when Didi returns? Does he slide to third? If so, what of Miguel Andujar? Do you trade a perennial all-star who is likely to get better, not worse? People are concerned about Andujar’s defense, but it seems to me when Robinson Cano first came up with the Yankees, he had fielding issues (17 errors in 131 games played). In comparison, Andujar had 15 errors in 132 games. The next year Cano only had only 9 errors. Now this does not mean that will be the case this time but what it does mean is there is no reason to panic. Miguel Andujar is only 23 years old.
Ok so you now know where I stand on Machado – I love him, but not for ten years. Now if they can get him on a five-year deal, I say do it, but since that won’t happen, I feel the answer lies with a super utility guy who will provide some pop while Didi is away and can be used in multiple positions when he returns. You guessed it… I’m talking about Jed Lowrie. Lowrie had a career year in 2018 with 23 HR and 99 RBI at the age of 34. He likely won’t require a long-term deal and his price tag of probably around $7-8 million is a bit cheaper than what could be $40 million a year for Machado.
If you want the Yankees to add a power bat, they should do it in a position that is weaker. Perhaps a first baseman such as Paul Goldschmidt can be brought in by trade or free agent Eric Hosmer deserves a look.
So, all of you who want to throw Manny Machado a big mountain of money, do you think the Yankees really need him? A shiny new toy is just that, a shiny new toy. Pitching wins championships and hopefully the Yankees do the right thing and bring another title to New York.