With roughly four weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa, the Yankees very well might be done with their offseason shopping. Another reliever would be cool. Would it surprise anyone if the Yankees don’t do anything between now and Spring Training though? I didn’t think so. Anyway, here are the latest offseason rumblings.
Talks with Machado are “either dormant or completely dead”
As expected, talks between the Yankees and Manny Machado are “either dormant or completely dead,” reports Buster Olney (subs. req’d). That seemed to be the case even before the DJ LeMahieu signing last week. Also, Andy Martino says Machado will sign with the highest bidder. He won’t take a discount to join the Yankees or any other team. That qualifies as a great big “no duh” in my book.
As long as Machado (and Bryce Harper) remains a free agent, there’s a chance the Yankees will sign him. A very small chance — I mean, they keep signing players to play Machado’s position, so yeah — but a chance nonetheless. Part of me hopes the Yankees are playing it unbelievably quiet with Harper and will pounce when the time is right a la Mark Teixeira during the 2008-09 offseason. I doubt it’ll happen. I just hope it does. What a bummer this all is.
Gray talks beginning to “ramp up”
Now that CC Sabathia can resume baseball activities, Sonny Gray trade talks are beginning to “ramp up,” according to Jon Heyman. There are at least six teams involved. The Reds are presumably one. Recent reports indicate the Brewers and Padres are in the mix as well. The Athletics, Mariners, Braves, Twins, and Rangers had interest in Gray earlier this offseason. Which teams are still involved? Your guess is as good as mine.
The Yankees signed Gray to a one-year deal worth $7.5M last week, avoiding arbitration. That is quite a bit lower than his projected $9.1M salary. That is good for the Yankees no matter what. He’s cheaper in the unlikely event they keep him, and he’s more affordable for potential trade partners. The $1.6M difference between projected salary and actual salary could be a pretty big deal to small market teams. Anyway, the trade countdown continues.
Yankees will attend showcase for Davis, Liberatore
The Yankees are among the teams expected to attend a free agent showcase event for righty Rookie Davis and lefty Adam Liberatore later this month, reports Emily Waldon. The event is planned for January 31st in Raleigh, North Carolina. Davis, as I’m sure you know, is an original Yankees’ draft pick (14th round in 2011) who went to the Reds in the Aroldis Chapman trade a few years back. Cincinnati cut him loose earlier this winter.
Davis, 25, made the Reds’ 2017 Opening Day rotation and allowed 25 runs and 53 baserunners in 24 innings. He threw only 26.1 minor league innings last year following offseason hip surgery and a setback. The 31-year-old Liberatore spent a few years as an up-and-down reliever with the Dodgers, throwing 88.2 innings with a 3.55 ERA (3.25 FIP) from 2015-18. Los Angeles released him in August to clear a roster spot for Ryan Madson. No harm in attending a showcase. Bringing Davis back and reviving his career would be pretty cool.
Britton gets $1M bonus if traded
According to Ron Blum, Zach Britton’s new contract does not include a no-trade clause, but he will receive a $1M assignment bonus the first time he is traded. The Yankees used to give out no-trade clauses like candy. That is no longer the case. Now they give out these $1M trade bonuses. Chase Headley had one in his contract — the Padres and Yankees split the $1M payment — and Brett Gardner had one in his last contract too. Now Britton has one.
The Yankees gave Troy Tulowitzki a full no-trade clause that is inconsequential given his league minimum salary. If they need to unload him, they’ll just release him and eat the money. No big deal. It seems unlikely to me the Yankees will trade Britton at some point in the next few years, but hey, you never know. Maybe things don’t work out a la Sonny Gray, or the Yankees need payroll flexibility, or use Britton as part of a blockbuster. Whatever it is, these $1M trade bonuses are the new thing, it seems.