Hal Steinbrenner New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees are flirting with the idea of signing Manny Machado, but Hal Steinbrenner needs some answers.

Aaron Case

The latest twist in the New York Yankees/Manny Machado drama came when Hal Steinbrenner proposed a meeting between the two sides. The purpose of the rendezvous would be to let Machado clarify comments on his distaste for hustling.

Any baseball fan who doesn’t know by now about Machado telling Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that running hard isn’t his “cup of tea” must be some sort of modern Rip Van Winkle.

If you really did just walk out of the Catskills after a 20-year nap, welcome to modern baseball, but there’s no need to warn the guy who signs the Yankees’ checks.

That guy is painfully aware of Machado’s apathetic approach to the game. However, he has a solution.

Steinbrenner told YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits that the 26-year-old star must bring open communication to the bargaining table.

“I think it’s really going to be up to [GM Brian] Cashman, sitting down with him—and me, hopefully—face to face and really trying to get an explanation as to what was the context of when he answered that question. Were there things that weren’t printed? I mean, what were you trying to say? How do you explain yourself? Do you understand that this kind of stuff concerns a lot of our fans if not most of our fans?”

Machado is one of this offseason’s most coveted free agents. He slashed .297/.367/.538 in 2018—all career highs—and he’s just now reaching his prime.

That’s why the Bombers are feeling out the situation. However, Steinbrenner also played hard to get, telling Marakovits that the Yankees are “looking at three or four guys right now.”

The speculation surrounding New York and Machado is starting to feel a bit like a cliché will-they-or-won’t-they sitcom trope. While the Bombers act all coy, other suitors will throw themselves at the young infielder. One of them might stick.

For any Yankees fans with free-agent commitment issues, that would be perfectly fine.

Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.