Brian Cashman has said since early November that the Yankees have an interest in Manny Machado. On Wednesday, the All-Star infielder will be in New York to meet with them, a source confirmed.
Because of their glut of outfielders, the Yankees won’t pursue Bryce Harper, at least at the moment. However, with shortstop Didi Gregorius set to miss at least the first two months of the regular season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, there is room for Machado.
If the Yankees are scared away from Machado, indications are it will be because of his price — reports have him seeking a deal of eight to 10 years in excess of $300 million — not what happened during the postseason.
Machado had an up-and-down October for the Dodgers in the playoffs and the World Series and was involved in a handful of on-field incidents that didn’t make him look especially good. He compounded that by saying he never could be considered “Johnny Hustle” and that hustling in general is not “my cup of tea.”
Cashman, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and Aaron Boone have been asked about those comments, and none of them said they were disqualifying. Steinbrenner did say he wanted to hear an explanation from Machado.
“If it’s a $300-million guy or a $10-million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” Steinbrenner said last month. “But that’s really [Cashman’s] job if we’re interested in any player, to sit down with them face-to-face, and the agent, and ask them, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to make? How do you justify it?’
“Because that ain’t going to sell where we play baseball. And that conversation will happen no matter who it is.”
On the “Michael Kay Show” on ESPN Radio on Dec. 5, Boone said: “You hope all players all the time run things out, play hard or give it their all. But [it’s] not necessarily the No. 1 thing I look at when I am defining whether a player is giving his all.”