MLB Rumors: This Team Is Manny Machado’s ‘First Choice’ In Free Agency

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The only thing standing in the way of Manny Machado wearing pinstripes might be the New York Yankees’ willingness — or lack thereof — to meet the star infielder’s asking price.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested last week that Machado would choose the Yankees in free agency if all things were equal, and MLB analyst Jim Bowden expressed a similar sentiment Wednesday on the CBS Sports Network.

“The one thing I can tell you that I know — we talk about facts: Manny Machado’s first choice is the New York Yankees,” Bowden, a former Major League Baseball general manager, said from the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings. “So if the Yankees come to the table, and they’re able to compete and are willing to compete financially for his services, they will be the team that gets Manny Machado.”

The question then is whether New York will make a competitive offer for Machado. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has shown some restraint this offseason, refusing to go beyond the organization’s comfort zone financially to land free agent pitchers Patrick Corbin and Nathan Eovaldi, so perhaps New York will pump the brakes on its pursuit of Machado if the market becomes too robust.

A source told Fancred’s Jon Heyman over the weekend that the Yankees like Machado but will not spend $300 million on the four-time All-Star. That, in theory, could prevent New York from landing Machado, as the 26-year-old figures to secure a hefty payday on the open market.

The Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox reportedly are among the other teams that have expressed interest in Machado, who’s coming off a 2018 campaign in which he batted .297 with 37 home runs, 107 RBIs and a .905 OPS split between the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi (right) and designated hitter J.D. Martinez
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