2018-19 Yankees Free Agency – The Trade That Starts It All
The Baltimore Orioles will lose Manny Machado at the end of this season. That is all but guaranteed. The Orioles are not likely to let him walk without getting something in return. Since it is April, it can be assumed that the front office in Baltimore believes they have playoff aspirations. However, once the trade deadline approaches and they know they are not destined for the playoffs, the Orioles will again become aggressive in trying to move Machado.
There is no doubt that they will ask for the sun and moon in the form of controllable players and young pitching etc. That is when the improbable just might happen. The Yankees come calling and make an offer that the Orioles cannot refuse. What would that offer be? The Yankees send Didi Gregorious, Chance Adams, and a young (18-20 year-old) pitching prospect to Baltimore for Machado. Obviously, the Yankees will want to work an extension with Machado but that will not be until year end.
Why would the Orioles make a deal like this? It is obvious, they gain one extra year of control with Gregorious. Gregorious is a very good player and they can attempt to give him an extension that would be more in line with the team’s economics then if it does not work, they can flip him at the trade deadline next season. They add Chance Adams who is ready to take the ball as a third to fifth starter and take a flier on another pitcher to be named later. It is about as good a deal as the Orioles can expect to get for Machado and that is why they make the move within the division.
Why would the Yankees make the deal? First, it is Manny Machado. Secondly, Machado is three years younger than Gregorious. Third, for all that Gregorious is, he is not Machado with the upside he possesses. The Yankees will miss parting with Adams but that is the nature of the beast. They have other young arms coming up and have the resources to address the issue if required. Look at the table below for comparison, between Machado and Gregorious. The table encompasses key stats from 2017. It is important to note that 2017 is Didi’s best season and Machado’s worst. Didi is in the middle of his prime and Machado is beginning to enter it.
For the Yankees fans that say that is way too much for Machado as a “rental” I would argue that the deal is actually fair given a trade within the division. For the Orioles fans that claim that the offer is not nearly enough, I would offer that you will lose Machado at the end of the year (save me the “but he will stay” talk) and in return you get a solid rotation piece, an All-Star caliber shortstop under control for another year and a prospect thrown in. It is solid when you take emotion out of it.
2018-19 Yankees Free Agency – The Machado Extension
Now that Machado is in pinstripes and playing shortstop in New York, it is time for him to sign that deal he always hoped he would get. 10 years and $300-$350 million. For the sake of this piece we will assume the $350 million number. This deal would eat into a large portion of the “dead money” leaving the Bombers $9 million of the “dead money” but that means the Yankees would have dropped payroll at this point as part of the 2018-19 Yankees Free Agency movement. That thought is a little over simplistic but it meets the intent
2018-19 Yankees Free Agency – New Payroll After Machado Signing
$183 million was the baseline team payroll for the end of this season. Then there was $44.31 million coming off the books in “dead money.” That works out to $138.69 million (remember that this number still includes a $15 million mid-season spending pool). Last season the Yankees settled with all eight arbitration eligible players. For the sake of this piece, we will add 33 percent to last year’s arbitration total, which is not accurate but an overinflated “safe” number in my mind. That 33 percent adds $10 million (33 percent of last year’s $30 million). The new team payroll total is $148.69 million. Now the Yankees and Manny Machado have agreed to a deal worth 10 years/$350 million. Using basic averages that puts the first move in 2018-19 Yankees Free Agency at a new team payroll of $183.69 million.