Dodging the Padre

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Eddie Castro Sports

The primary goal for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman was to display a much-improved winning product to take the field for 2019 that will be good enough to dethrone the rival and reigning World Champion Boston Red Sox. The Yankees have been quite active in free agency this winter by re-signing players like their ace Luis Severino (4 years/$40 million), J.A. Happ (2 years/$34 million), Zack Britton (3 years/$39 million–he also changed the H in his name to a K) and also coming to terms with former Colorado Rockie players such as Adam Ottavino, D.J. LaMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki. Aside from those deals, the free agent market has been very slow with a week of spring training in and still nearly a hundred players still unsigned. The two major players who are the highlight of this year’s free agent class have not found a new team until…

Former Los Angeles Dodger and Baltimore Oriole Manny Machado, aside from Bryce Harper, is sought to be the hottest free agent in this year’s market and was indeed on the Yankees’ radar. Machado, 26, made his long-awaited decision this past Tuesday when he signed a 10-year/$300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. It is currently the richest signed contract in American sports history. Now I know what some Yankee fans may be thinking, “Yes, Machado is a dynamic hitter and a well-polished third baseman entering the prime ages of his career.” It was reported the Yankees presented a contract offer to Machado’s representatives in the 7-8 years around the $250 million-dollar range. From the feedback I had received from speaking with a few Yankee fans in Brooklyn, some are bothered the team did not up their offer and a few fans did not mind that the Yanks passed on a talent like Machado. Here’s why I say the Yankees did the right thing by electing not to.

As we know by now, the Yankees will be without their starting shortstop Didi Gregorius until about June after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the winter. Shortstop is a position Machado is familiar with having played that position earlier in his career.  The Yankees decided to go with Tulowitzki on a 1-year deal at a much cheaper price. Yes, “Tulo” has not played a game since 2017, after missing all of last year after having surgery on both of his heels. However, if he can get back to flashes of the player that he once was, then passing up on Machado would have been worth it. Machado comes with some baggage with his lack of maturity and lack of hustle being questioned in the past. Also, the Yankees stood to their guns by not willing to commit to a long-term deal. They saw how that went with Alex Rodriguez. Another thing to consider for the Our Time Press universe is that we tend to forget that we still have a young and talented Miguel Andujar.

It’s hard to ignore the talent that Manny Machado possesses. With that said, I do believe the Yankees decision to not aggressively pursue him will not hurt them. Eventually, as the Bronx Bombers look towards the future, the team can spend their money wisely and look to lock up a few homegrown players on their roster like Dellin Betances, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge. They can also direct their attention to next year’s free agent pool when the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado will become a free agent. The team’s focus should be pitching and to spend their money wisely while continuing to develop their players in what is one of baseball’s top farm systems. As great as Machado is, the Yankees will not regret passing up on him moving forward.

Sports Notes: (Baseball) How does the OTP universe feel about the Yankees not landing Manny Machado? E-mail me at Castroeddie714@gmail.com and let’s have the conversation!