How does Manny Machado fit with the Yankees?
Despite Manny Machado being under contract through the end of the 2018 season, it appears that in Tampa the sweepstakes for his signature in the summer is already heating up. On Wednesday, before the Grapefruit League game between the Yankees and the Orioles, Aaron Judge off-handedly remarked to Machado that he’d “look good in pinstripes”, resulting in a warning from the MLB and a call from Brian Cashman on Thursday, per the league’s strict anti-tampering policy.
This begs the question; just how good would Manny Machado look in Pinstripes? The short answer is obvious: amazing. Let’s look at how the Yankees’ 2019 line-up would be structured with the addition of Machado.
This is a deadly lineup featuring the AL Rookie of the Year in Judge, the NL MVP in Stanton, the powerful Gary Sanchez, the ever-present Didi Gregorius, and a host of top prospects that will earn their chance to cement a starting role during the 2018 campaign. Despite Torres hitting a poor .160/.250/.240 in Spring Training thus far, I believe by the end of 2018 he will impress enough at the Major League level to beat out the more experienced 2B options of Neil Walker and Brandon Drury for the starting job. As for Frazier, who has been limited to only 4 PA’s this Spring, he will be competing with an almost 36-year-old Brett Gardner, assuming his team option for 2019 is picked up. Other than an elbow injury ending his year early in 2012, Gardner has been a staple in left field since his first full season in 2010, and last season was one of his best offensively slashing .264/.350/.428 and was responsible for 3.8 WAR. By 2019, however, he will most likely regress due to aging and relinquish the starting job to Clint Frazier.
This would be the most deadly line-up in Major League Baseball. If you take a team that was just one game away from heading to the World Series in 2017, add a superstar like Manny Machado who, over the last 3 seasons, has averaged a line of .280/.338/.502, despite a down year in 2017, and add two top prospects who will have another year to develop, this team will win championships for years to come.