The Yankees have signed free-agent second basement DJ LeMahieu, giving them an abundance of infielders.
Despite the seemingly obvious fit at second that would move star rookie Gleyber Torres to shortstop, Jack Curry of the YES Network reports that New York's plan is to have LeMahieu serve as a utility infielder.
After a face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper, his agent Scott Boras and his wife Kayla on Saturday, the Philadelphia Phillies have emerged as "the clear-cut favorite" to sign Harper, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. That lack of desperation on the Yankees' part means they can set a price for Machado and, as Olney reports, engage him only if the market falls to that level. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal is reporting the deal is worth $24 million.
The Yankees probably never made Machado an official offer and might not have been willing to approach $200 million.
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Since the Yankees are not in on Bryce Harper (by all appearances, at least), Machado going elsewhere would probably slightly help a dark horse like the Cubs on Harper.
If Machado is truly holding out for a historic contract, the White Sox and Phillies probably control their own destiny when it comes to their odds of landing the 26-year-old. He'll join old friend Troy Tulowitzki in a reshaped Yankees infield that should have no shortage of power, defensive acumen, or top-level professionalism. That no longer appears to be a realistic option. With both LeMahieu and Tulowitzki added to the mix, it would be a little easier for the Yankees to get by until Gregorius returns if they were to move Andujar. He has struck out less than 100 times in four of the last five seasons.
The White Sox and Phillies have both finished below.500 in each of the last six seasons.