As usual, the hot stove league has ground to a halt in January, except in the past it happened because all the top free agents had signed. Nowadays it’s because no teams want to spend money. Have we reached the point where signing free agents is a market inefficiency? Possibly! Anyway, earlier today we discussed the Yankees’ continued interest in Adam Ottavino. Now here’s the latest hot stove rumblings.
Yankees have not made Machado a “concrete” offer
Here we go again with the “they haven’t made an offer yet” stuff. According to Ken Davidoff, the Yankees have not yet made a “concrete” offer to Manny Machado. For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale reported the White Sox made Machado a formal offer last week, and Jim Salisbury says the Phillies are still negotiating with Machado, which indicates no offer has been made. Davidoff says the Yankees and Dan Lozano, Machado’s agent, are not far along enough in talks to make a formal offer.
The offer stuff gets overplayed every offseason. The important thing is the two sides are talking. Should they get to a point where they’re close on money, the Yankees will put a piece of paper in front of Machado (they’ll send an electronic document to his iPad, really) and move forward. I mean, does anyone really think the Yankees will lose out on Machado simply because the White Sox have a formal offer in front of him and the Yankees don’t? If Machado wants to be a Yankee, they’ll work out the contract terms, and he’ll wait on the offer.
Yankees not seriously shopping Andujar
According to Davidoff, the Yankees are not seriously shopping Miguel Andujar. It has been reported throughout the offseason that the Yankees are open to trading him. Both of those things can be true. The Yankees can be open to trading Andujar — I’m certain they’re open to trading a lot of players should the right offer come along — without actively shopping him and pushing him in trade talks.
Also, keep in mind these things can change in a hurry. If the Yankees manage to sign Machado, they could turn right around and begin to push Andujar in trade talks in an effort to address other needs. I don’t love that idea — the more high-end bats the better, and the Yankees could easily make room for Machado and Andujar on the roster — but it is a viable option. Overall, there is too much “trade Andujar” talk for my liking. He’s really good! The Yankees should be keeping really good young players, even if they are flawed.
Padres still after Gray
The last Sonny Gray non-update: Jon Morosi reports the Padres still have interest in acquiring Gray. Brian Cashman walked back his repeated “we’re going to trade him” comments last week on account of CC Sabathia’s angioplasty. Cashman said the Yankees slowed down their Gray talks following Sabathia’s procedure because the team wants to make sure they’re covered. Sabathia has follow-up exams coming that will clarify his status.
Sabathia’s condition certainly changed the equation, but clearly, the Yankees did not consider Gray a viable rotation option earlier this offseason, and nothing’s really changed on his end. He’s the same old Sonny Gray. If the Yankees didn’t consider him a rotation option before, they shouldn’t consider him one now. I suspect the talk about holding onto him following Sabathia’s procedure is just that, talk. I expect the Yankees to continue pushing Gray in trade talks and likely move him before Spring Training, regardless of Sabathia’s condition. They’d find a depth starter elsewhere.
Tulowitzki has full no-trade clause
Sixteen teams were interested in Troy Tulowitzki following his workout last month, and, to bring him to the Bronx, the Yankees gave Tulowitzki a full no-trade clause, reports Jon Heyman. This is largely inconsequential. First of all, it is unlikely Tulowitzki plays his way into any real trade value. Secondly, if Tulowitzki does play well enough to have real trade value, the Yankees would probably want to keep him because depth is cool. Need it to contend.
And third, Tulowitzki will make the $555,000 league minimum. If he’s that much of a roster clog and he’s unwilling to accept a trade, the Yankees could just release him and eat the money. Doing that with a player making $10M is a tough pill to swallow. The league minimum? No, who cares. The no-trade clause gives Tulowitzki some peace of mind and comes at no real cost to the Yankees. His low salary makes it easy to dump him should a roster spot be required.