For every rumor we see this offseason, there will be a number of layers to consider, and among them will pondering just how that rumor made it to market, so to speak.
Credibly-sourced rumors, of course, come from somewhere. As much as some like to drag the national guys, the reality is that they are doing everything they can to pass along legitimate tidbits from sources in the know. They vet the information as best they can, but it never hurts for us to add an addition check against the agendas bouncing around behind the scenes.
To that end, I totally believe that Buster Olney and Andy Martino have heard these things. I also question where these things might be coming from, and what agenda underlies it:
There is a strong undertow of reaction from within the MLB community about Machado's effort in this postseason, and his comments about effort. He'll be paid plenty in the end, but his play has created a lot of questions. The volume of high-end bidders might be diminished.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 27, 2018
The Yankees noticed Manny Machado's weird postseason and are lukewarm on an all-out pursuit of himhttps://t.co/k2tWzzk0WY
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) October 29, 2018
Imagine a world where you are determined on an all-out pursuit of a top infield free agent in any case, and then your returning shortstop goes down with surgery. Everyone knows you’re going after that free agent.
But then the free agent – Manny Machado, in this case – hands you the perfect excuse to send up some pearl-clutching smokescreens about “postseason antics.” That message will be heard and felt not only by other suitors in the market for Machado, but by Machado’s team.
In other words, my take here is not that the Yankees (or other suitors, necessarily) are no longer all that into Machado. Instead, my take is that the Yankees have already started negotiating.
Even as Martino’s report concedes the Yankees may yet wind up with Machado, he writes, “[A]s the team watched this postseason, and weighed it against what they already feared about Machado – that he didn’t always run out ground balls, that opponents thought he was a dirty player – they became even more wary of committing to him for the better part of a decade.”
Maybe so. Frankly, I do think this postseason was enough to at least give you pause. But for the Yankees, Machado has always seemed like a very logical long-term fit, and I don’t think the manifestation of some of the things everyone already knew about is going to dissuade them. It’ll just make them try to get a discount.
Then again, the Yankees are far from the betting favorite on Machado (it’s the Phillies), so maybe the market knows something I don’t …