The New York Yankees are either putting on a great poker face or just aren't as interested in free agent Manny Machado as many previously thought.
According to MLB insider Bob Nightengale, the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox have been more aggressive in their pursuit of Machado than the Yankees.
The #Yankees are either playing it coy, trying to gauge the Andujar trade market, or simply have no intention of offering Manny Machado a $200 million-plus contract. The Chicago #WhiteSox and Philadelphia #Phillies remain the most aggressive teams for the prized infielder.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 7, 2019
What should also be noted here is Nightengale floats the possibility that the Yankees are exploring the trade market for Miguel Andujar, the team's incumbent third baseman, before striking a deal with Machado. This actually makes sense considering Andujar's trade value would decrease in a sense if the Yanks landed Machado before dealing him because then there would be a logjam at the position.
While it's been reported that Machado wants to be a Yankee, the White Sox or Phillies could end up stealing him with a good offer if the Yanks don't become more active in talks with him. Perhaps the Yankees are betting that Machado doesn't get offers as high as he hoped while they try adding one more piece to their bullpen.
Yankees are working on pen as they await word on Machado. Chisox and Phillies also waiting. No team is believed at 300M. If all are in 200-250 range and that’s possible (perhaps philly is a little higher, tho that is unknown), fwiw most around game still believe Machado picks NYY— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 5, 2019
The Yanks are taking a huge gamble by prioritizing a bullpen arm over Machado. However, with the slow pace that the hot stove has moved so far this offseason, there's a good chance Machado is still on the market after the Yankees add another reliever.
If that ends up being the case, then don't be surprised if the Yankees get back on top of the sweepstakes as they figure out their financial situation.