It was rather cold outside the Javits Center in Manhattan after Thursday’s snow, but Brian Cashman planned to spend the night out front in his sleeping bag.
It has been the Yankees’ general manager’s tradition to participate in the “Executive Sleep Out” to raise awareness for youth homelessness and raise funds for Covenant House, where he’s on the board of directors. More than 1,700 executives and leaders were sleeping out in 19 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Was this baseball executive going to dream out there about signing a free agent with the initials MM?
Shortstop/third baseman Manny Machado has been a polarizing figure because of his postseason with the Dodgers — some errant steps while running to first that caused a collision, some lack of hustle as a baserunner and some comments about hustling not being his thing.
Troubling words? Cashman wouldn’t say. He indicated that Machado is under consideration, that he had reached out to his agent, Dan Lozano, and that he will talk with any free agents that the team is serious about to see “what makes them tick” and if they’re a fit.
“I can tell you from afar the talent that we’ve seen on the wrong end of it, which is against us, is high end,” Cashman said of Machado, 26. “He covers both sides of the ball both offensively and defensively. So we’ll take a look at Manny Machado along with everybody else. Certainly, they’re fair questions to be asked.”
Owner Hal Steinbrenner indicated Wednesday that he would want Cashman to get a satisfactory explanation from Machado about his comments about hustling before potentially signing him for mega-millions.
Asked if he indeed will have that conversation with Machado, Cashman said, “We’ll see. I don’t want to show my cards, so to speak.”
Cashman laid out his game plan to try to upgrade a 100-win team that lost to 108-win Boston in the ALDS, including adding two high-end starters and replacing relievers Zach Britton and David Robertson if they don’t re-sign. Robertson is representing himself.
“Does he want to come back? Yeah, but he said to me the same thing I think he said to the public, which is he’s got to do whatever is in the best interest of his family,” Cashman said.
Beyond the pitching, Machado could come into play. Or some other infielder.
“We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to handle the Didi [Gregorius] injury,” Cashman said of his shortstop, who had Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. “He will come back, but is it June? Is it July? Is it August? Regardless of how long he’s out, I have to find a placeholder at short or second base.”
Cashman was late because the weather wreaked havoc with the traffic.
“I struggled getting here,” he said, “and walking through all these nasty elements, all I kept thinking about is there are people right now that are living through this and trying to find a way to get covered, but they’re doing it night after night after night.”