By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
Manny Machado will not be a Yankee.
That is, at least for now.
New York fell short in their pursuit of Baltimore’s star shortstop, who was officially traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday for a package of prospects, including outfielder Yusniel Diaz, a highly touted outfielder out of Cuba.
Acquiring Machado would have been the classic Yankees move. How many times have we seen the Yankees scoop up one of the game’s best players just because they can? It happened last offseason with Giancarlo Stanton. It happened in 2004 with Alex Rodriguez. It happened in 1999 with Roger Clemens.
Need I go on?
But this time, it appears Brian Cashman pulled his chips off the table and went home. That may not be the typical approach for a Yankees General Manager to take, but it was the right approach.
The Yankees don’t need Machado.
If the Bronx Bombers fall short of their 28th World Series title this year, it won’t be because they missed out on one of baseball’s top hitters at the deadline, it will be because their poor starting pitching sinks them in the end.
Do the Yankees really need another right-handed hitter?
Adding Machado to a murderers row that already includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez would have made that group even more intimidating, but would it have fixed a problem like Sonny Gray and his 5.46 ERA?
Machado was a luxury, not a need, and Cashman seemed to approach his negotiations with Baltimore accordingly.
George King of the New York Post reported earlier this week that the Yankees were unwilling to part with any of their top 10 prospects, including standout rookie infielders Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.
The Orioles were rumored to want Yankees top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in return for Machado, a hefty price to pay for a rental. Sheffield is currently the 22nd ranked prospect in the game, according to Baseball America. The 22-year-old lefty is sporting a 2.44 ERA this year in time spent between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is likely on the verge of a big league call-up.
If Sheffield gives the Yankees something in the second half, or if New York uses their strong farm system to acquire a respectable starting pitcher at the deadline, they will be much closer to the pennant than they would have been with Machado in pinstripes.
But let’s not kid ourselves, Wednesday’s trade to LA doesn’t mean Machado won’t end up in the Bronx, it just might delay it.
The Yankees made their intentions clear this summer: they want Machado badly. They just didn’t get the deal done … yet.
Come this winter, all it will take to land Machado is money. Nobody is better at throwing money around than the Yankees.
Do they need him? No. But do they want him? Yes. History will tell us that, in New York, want often outweighs need.