So the Yanks’ meeting with Manny Machado yesterday lasted about 90 minutes. I don’t know how much can or was done in that—to me, short—-timeframe. Machado visits the Phillies today.
But even if the Yanks DO sign Machado, I still have concerns.
Those concerns not only deal with Machado’s “hustle” or lack of it comments, his attitude, style of play (shown in this past postseason) or even the fact that signing him makes a righty-leaning lineup more righty-based in a ballpark built for lefty hitters.
It has to do with the Yanks’ infield defense.
Ok, we know about the problems Gary Sanchez has had with passed balls and wild pitches.
As for 1B, we don’t know if Greg Bird will reach his potential or if Luke Voit was a flash in the pan. Both aren’t exactly Don Mattingly defensively at 1B, however.
If the Yanks sign Machado, Gleyber Torres plays 2B, where he showed a lot of potential but also made some rookie mistakes and showed a lack of concentration at times.
Machado’s best position is 3B, not SS, and 3B Miguel Andujar’s defensive shortcomings last year have been well noted.
With three lefties in the starting rotation (Paxton, Happ and CC) and a closer who is a lefty (Chapman), defense on the left side (Machado and Andujar) will be paramount.
So even if the Yanks do sign Machado, will they need someone like Hechevarria (a free agent) coming back to provide a great glove as an infield backup (and someone they use late in games for defensive purposes)? As of now, with Ronald Torreyes having gone to the Twins, and Neil Walker a free agent, the infield backup appears to be Tyler Wade, who hasn’t yet proven that he can hit MLB pitching.
So besides the concerns about a too righty-leaning lineup, the cost of Machado, and Machado’s attitude, another concern …
Even if the Yanks get Machado to add to the lumber, how is the infield LEATHER going to be?
Update: The Yanks were one of a bunch of teams to look at Troy Tulowitzki, but I don’t see Tulo as a viable SS option due to his age, and recent injury history. Toronto would be on the hook for almost all of the salary, however, and the Yanks would have to pay only the league minimum. But Tulo is 34, missed all of last year, and played in only 66 games in 2017. It looks like his last really great year was in an injury-plagued 2014 and that the injuries and age have caught up to him.