Manny Machado, his wife and his agent, Dan Lozano, dined with Yankees president Randy Levine, GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and newly minted special adviser Carlos Beltran and his wife Wednesday night at a Manhattan restaurant after spending 90 minutes at Yankee Stadium earlier in the day.
Machado clearly wants to be a Yankee. The club has shown enough interest in that happening to the point that the very talented infielder was invited to see parts of the Stadium he didn’t as a visiting Oriole and meet staff members who would help with a possible transition from seven years in Baltimore and two months in LA to The Bronx.
Presumably, the Yankees paid the dinner bill. Now it will come down to what type of deal Machado will sign. Even before the 26-year-old became a free agent after the Red Sox dismantled Machado’s Dodgers in the World Series, there was talk of Machado commanding a 10-year contract worth at least $300 million. Now there is industry chatter that might be higher.
When discussing high-end talent and the Yankees, you are wise to avoid saying never. And they stayed under the luxury tax in 2018 to have money for this free-agent class. Yet, they absorbed $230 million to get Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins last December and are looking at Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances and Aaron Hicks becoming free agents following the 2019 season, when Aroldis Chapman can opt out of the final two seasons of a five-year deal worth $86 million that would have $30 million remaining.