NEW YORK -- The Yankees have said that they are comfortable going forward with a pair of rookies in their infield, but general manager Brian Cashman also appears to be keeping one eye trained on the ongoing situation with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.Though the likelihood of a deal remains
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have said that they are comfortable going forward with a pair of rookies in their infield, but general manager Brian Cashman also appears to be keeping one eye trained on the ongoing situation with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
Though the likelihood of a deal remains less than great for several reasons, the Yankees spoke again with Baltimore this week concerning the three-time All-Star, according to a report by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. The Yankees haven't commented on the report.
Machado can be a free agent after the 2018 season and is not expected to sign an extension with the Orioles, which has made the 25-year-old one of the most intriguing names on the trade market this offseason.
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The Yankees would have to part with some of the top talent in their loaded farm system if they were to convince Baltimore owner Peter Angelos to deal Machado within the American League East, but they are also one of the few teams who could match up for such a trade.
The White Sox were said to have made a considerable offer for Machado during last month's Winter Meetings. The Cardinals, Cubs, D-backs, Phillies and Red Sox have also been linked to the two-time Gold Glove Award winner, for whom Baltimore is said to be seeking a pair of controllable starting pitchers.
Cashman's December moves created a pair of vacancies in the Yankees infield. Second baseman Starlin Castro was moved to the Marlins as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade and third baseman Chase Headley's salary was offloaded to the Padres, providing more latitude to keep payroll under the $197 million threshold in an effort to reset their luxury tax rate.
While Cashman has said that he is not ready to anoint starters at second base and third base, the team considers Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres as being close to big league ready. Andujar played winter ball in the Dominican Republic and Torres, rated the game's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is expected to be fully recovered from Tommy John surgery in time for Spring Training.
Other internal options include Thairo Estrada, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade. The Yankees have also spoken with the Pirates regarding infielder Josh Harrison and have been in contact with the agent for free agent Todd Frazier, who hit .222/.365/.423 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 66 games after being acquired by New York last July. Mike Moustakas and Eduardo Nunez are also free agents.
Even so, few players carry the same appeal as Machado, who hit .259/.310/.471 with 33 homers and 95 RBIs in 156 games for the Orioles last season. His name has been mentioned often in the Bronx over the last several years, and the Yankees are expected to be among Machado's most ardent suitors in an impressive free-agent class next offseason that could also see Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper on the move.