As the New York Yankees-Baltimore Orioles series winds down in Baltimore, Manny Machado trade rumors are beginning to heat up.
The New York Yankees have the ball in their court now.
Reported on Wednesday by MLB Network’s, John Morosi — the Orioles are willing to part ways with Manny Machado in a trade if Yankees’ top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield is included in the deal:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 11, 2018
Since the series opened on Monday, talks of Manny Machado to the Yankees essentially began to gain traction — with Machado opening up to the media preaching,
“I’m a shortstop. I play shortstop,”
In relation to the question if he would play third base on a team such as the Yankees.
Up to this point, Manny Machado has been adamant about playing shortstop. He see’s himself playing that position for the remainder of his career so it begs the question: Would Didi Gregorius be okay moving out of the position?
If I had to guess, I wouldn’t say he’d (Gregorius) be thrilled about it — considering the fact that he has done nothing wrong at shortstop nor has he warranted his position to be taken. His merit supersedes something like that from occurring … but then again this is the Yankees.
Giving up Justus Sheffield is a move Brian Cashman should be hesitant to make. Sheffield is projected as a No. 2-3 rotation starter with a mid-to-high 90s fastball and a curveball-change-up combination to go along with it. Finding a commodity such as Sheffield is not easy — and it took a top flight arm like Andrew Miller to land him:
#Yankees No. 2 prospect Justus Sheffield was dealing for the @swbrailriders today:
Since being promoted on May 4:
No. 39 on @MLB's Top 100: https://t.co/TuTZgd5PTS pic.twitter.com/CarojsT5rg
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 8, 2018
Sheffield has been lights out this season, and especially since he’s been promoted to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. In 85 total innings pitched he owns a 2.44 ERA and 95 strikeouts with opponents hitting a modest .193 against him this season. Thus, is the reason he sits as the Yankees No. 2 overall prospect and No. 39 in all of the MLB.
For the Yankees to pull the trigger on this deal it would need to be worthwhile. If that means getting a guarantee from Machado that he would resign with them then so be it. It is a move that Cashman and the Yankees would need to have more assurance of before going through with it because this type of deal that could hamper the Yankees farm system for a long time. Meanwhile, the Yankees still have a bigger issue: Starting pitching.
Machado presents another right-handed bat that would make for a legitimate Murderers Row 2.0 — more than it is now. He has blown away the competition this year with his .314 batting average, 23 homers, and 63 RBI. His 110 hits up to this point also put him on pace for the 200 benchmark. But, is it worth the price of Justus Sheffield?
That’s for you and Brian Cashman to answer.