While the baseball world waits for something—anything—to happen in what has been a slow offseason, we catch you up on the latest involving the New York Yankees.
With Spring Training only six weeks or less away, boardrooms around the major leagues are beginning to get a bit edgy about filling out their rosters.
Not so much with the New York Yankees, though, a team that is one or two moves away from completing what is sure to be a competitive pennant-bound team. Here’s the latest chatter coming off the Hot Stove surrounding the Bombers.
Manny Machado Trade Update
Despite repeated talk about the Orioles on-again, off-again talk about dealing Machado in his walk year, with the Yankees still involved in the discussion, it ain’t gonna happen, folks, especially if Buck Showalter has anything to say on the matter.
MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko notes that Showalter is in the middle of handling a “delicate situation” between Machado and Tim Beckham, which if he can pull it off will allow Machado to make the move he wants to make back to shortstop.
This, if it can be enacted, will not end the matter. But it will at least quell all the talk for a while and give the Orioles a chance to see how they fare in the early months of the season with Machado, and before they start the whole process up again in July at the trade deadline.
This might be good news for the Yankees as well because, by that time, they’ll have a pretty good idea of what they have in Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, both of whom are expected to be show-and-tell exhibits in Spring Training and beyond.
Geritt Cole, Geritt Cole, Geritt Cole
MLB.com’s Alyson Footer recently spoke to Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, who told her the team was still looking for a front-end starter and that both Cole and Yu Darvish are on their radar. Even while the Astros seem pretty well set in the starting pitching department for this year, Dallas Keuchel will be a free agent for the 2019 season, and Crane might be (what a novel idea) planning for the future by locking up Cole.
Faulty rumors of a Cole trade broke Wednesday, with USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reporting that while the Astros and Pirates continue to talk, Houston is also talking to other teams and free agents.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 10, 2018
Where this leaves the Yankees is pretty much anyone’s guess, but that the way it’s been since the trade deadline last season when the Yankees and Pirates first started playing phone tag about Cole.
In these situations where Brian Cashman begins to feel like he’s a bit player in someone else’s game, he’s shown a tendency to look elsewhere for the prize he is seeking, as was the case when Cashman abandoned his efforts to get Cole last summer, moving on to acquire Sonny Gray instead.
Jacoby Ellsbury a trade fit for the Orioles
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
“They (the Yankees) would love to move as much of the three years at $68.5 million owed Jacoby Ellsbury (who counts $21.9 million annually toward the luxury-tax payroll). But there are plenty of outfielders better than Ellsbury still on the market, plus Ellsbury has a no-trade clause. The Orioles actually like Ellsbury a little, but indications are he might consider waiving his no-trade to be closer to his Scottsdale, Ariz., home with maybe the Diamondbacks or Giants making some sense.”
There isn’t any breaking news here, is there? Ellsbury and the Yankees are at a standoff. The team needs to move part of his remaining salary, and Ellsbury controls his destiny as the owner of a full no-trade clause.
The Orioles have no business being in the market for Ellsbury as a team that doesn’t need another reminder in their locker room of what ill-thought long-term contracts can do to a franchise (Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo).
But Sherman may have hit on something when he mentions the Diamondbacks and Giants. The D-Backs, if he were to okay a trade there brings Ellsbury right into the backyard of his home in Scottsdale. How much of an attraction is that for the Ellsbury family?
And the Giants, who seem to be in a “we’re back in it” mode after last season’s disaster, now have Evan Longoria, a player of similar stature to Ellsbury. Ellsbury’s line drive approach would make a good fit in the Giant’s wind cavern off the Bay ballpark where home runs come at a premium.
If I were Cashman, I’d be hammering on either of these deals 24/7.