The Yankees may sign Manny Machado this winter, but don’t expect Brian Cashman to do anything to drive his price up in free agency.
If the New York Yankees are genuinely interested in bringing Manny Machado to the Bronx, it doesn’t make any sense for them to let the world know about their plans. Instead, Brian Cashman and company would be wise to lay in wait to sign the superstar free agent.
That’s precisely why the recent news claiming the Yankees won’t pay Machado $300 million really doesn’t mean anything. Even if the organization is willing to pay that sort of premium for the 26-year-old infielder, broadcasting those plans to the world would equate to front office malpractice.
Cashman is keenly aware that his franchise is frequently used to drive up the price of potential free agents. Scott Boras and company love to threaten other teams with the idea that the Yankees are willing to pay big money for their clients. There’s no reason to think things with Machado will be any different.
In fairness, the Yankees aren’t the only team with big money to spend that are being linked with Machado. Both the Phillies and White Sox have the ability to hand out one massive contract in free agency. There’s no indication either side will offer Machado $300 million, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
The most likely outcome with Machado and the Yankees is that Cashman will get an opportunity to match any offer that’s made. There have been persistent rumors of the player’s desire to call New York home. If there’s any shred of truth in those reports, then Machado’s representatives will take any final offer to the Yankees before committing to another franchise.
It’s possible that $300 million is the sum of money where the Yankees will draw the line, but that’s far from a certainty. Cashman is too smart to leak that sort of information out at such an early date. He absolutely has a price he’s willing to pay in mind, but it’s highly unlikely anyone outside of his intimate brain trust knows exactly what that figure is.
At any rate, Yankees fans can expect to see tons of reports claiming their favorite team is or is not willing to pay this or that price until Machado finally signs his next contract. That’s the nature of being one of the richest franchises in sports. No one will really know the price the Yankees are willing to pay until Machado’s future is decided.