Will They?

Manny Machado made his visit to the Bronx today. Apparently, it lasted 90 minutes and that’s about all we know. My question is should they sign him or not?

On the side for signing him is the fact that the need is obviously there, at least until Didi comes back, and he is one of the best players in the game. As they say, “flags fly forever” and adding Machado to this club would put them in a great position to win a World Series. And you can’t discount the fact that Machado would draw crowds and sell tickets, important factors for the Yankees brand.

On the other hand, he is going to cost a lot and apart from the cost, he is going to sign a long-term deal. The years scare me much more than the dollars because players simply aren’t aging like they did on PEDs. Machado is 26, near his peak value, but superstars tend to stay at or near peak for longer than other players. However, time is undefeated and the chances are that in about six years the team that signs him will regret it. And the Yankees already have one of those contracts in Stanton.

Furthermore, the Yankees have a lot of their own players who are going to start getting expensive. Severino is at his first arbitration year now and considering the price of pitching, he is going to do very well over the next three years. Didi, Hicks, and Betances will be free agents next year while Judge and Sanchez enter arbitration. Unlike many teams, the Yankees can afford this, but plug a Machado salary in at $30-million a year or so and it becomes a lot harder to do so.

And finally it’s worth remembering that we are talking about how to improve a 100-win team. The thing working in the Yankees’ favor is the fact that most of those wins came from the efforts of players on the right side of 30- ie you can expect those guys to get better and not regress. That’s not a team that cries out for a huge move to improve their chances at a title.

That’s why I hope the Yankees pass on Machado. He’s an all-world talent and adding him today probably makes them the favorites in 2019. But building a sustainable, competitive, team requires long-term planning. Take the Machado money and buy out some arbitration years and find some players who can improve you marginally in certain areas. It’s not the sexy move many are clamoring for, but it’s the smart one.