Elise Amendola/Associated Press
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Bronx Bombers’ baseball operations and scouting departments are “lukewarm” on signing Machado in light of his “postseason antics.” Martino mentioned Machado’s failure to run out multiple balls put in play and the idea that opponents think he plays the game in a dirty way as reasons why New York is “wary” of adding him on a long-term deal.
Machado would be a natural on-field fit for the Yankees considering shortstop Didi Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss time during the 2019 campaign. He could slide into the vacated spot in the infield and provide offense and defense as a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover.
He slashed .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI as a member of the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2018 campaign and helped the latter reach the World Series. He would also add another potent bat to a New York lineup that set a single-season record for team home runs with 267 during the 2018 campaign.
However, Machado turned heads when he said of his perceived lack of hustle, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “Obviously I’m not going to change. I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”
What’s more, Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Christian Yelich called him “a dirty player” after he appeared to kick first baseman Jesus Aguilar’s foot during a groundout in the National League Championship Series, per Stephen Watson of WISN.
The incident sparked a clearing of the benches, and Machado also made contact with the heel of Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce during a groundout in the World Series.
The addition of Machado would make the Yankees all the more dangerous after an offensive explosion led to 100 wins during the regular season. He would help them challenge the champion Red Sox as well, but the front office is weighing concerns as the offseason kicks off.