The Yankees met with Manny Machado earlier today at Yankee Stadium, writes Dan Martin of the New York Post. Machado and agent Dan Lozano arrived at Yankee Stadium and were greeted by a contingent consisting at least of GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and veteran starter CC Sabathia, writes Martin, though other members of the organization were likely present. The meeting has been anticipated since weekend reports indicated that Machado would sit down for in-person visits with the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies this week. The face-to-face with the ChiSox came yesterday, and Machado is reportedly slated to meet with the Phillies tomorrow.
The meeting at Yankee Stadium lasted for roughly 90 minutes, though the Yankees’ courtship of Machado extended beyond that point. Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Yankees took Machado, his wife and Lozano out to dinner in Manhattan tonight as they continued to discuss the possibility of Machado signing in the Bronx. Some reports in recent days have indicated that Machado will sit down with a fourth club in the near future, and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand suggested as much was possible once again earlier today. However, Heyman definitively states that the market for Machado, at present, consists of the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies with “no mysteries” in play.
Regardless, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Yankees are a significant factor in the Machado auction. While Martin wrote in his column that “indications are they won’t invest $300 million over 10 years,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Yankees are “enamored” and believe him to be the “perfect fit” for their franchise. Whether that means topping the White Sox, the Phillies and any “mystery” suitors that may or may not truly be in the mix is another question entirely, though.
Ultimately, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner will have to give the go-ahead to offer what could end up a record-setting deal to bring Machado to the Yankees. Steinbrenner previously called Machado’s infamous “Johnny Hustle” comments “troubling” and flatly stated that such an attitude “ain’t going to sell where we play baseball.” Those comments, as well as Machado’s intentional kick of Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, undoubtedly came up in today’s face-to-face meeting.
As Feinsand writes, it’s not fully clear whether Steinbrenner himself was present in today’s meetings, as his family is mourning the recent passing of his mother, Joan. However, Steinbrenner implied to Nightengale last month that Machado would be explaining those comments and actions to Cashman, whom ownership trusts to make that type of call. “But that’s really [GM Brian Cashman’s] job,” said Steinbrenner at the time. “If we’re interested in any player, to sit down with them face to face and ask him, ’Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point? How do you justify it?’ … That conversation will happen.”