Thursday, November 15, 2018

Yankees, just say no to Manny Machado!

Manny Machado is a free agent and the Yankees are making noises that suggest that they may try to sign Machado.

Hal Steinbrenner: Machado will have to explain ‘troubling’ comments
By Ken Davidoff November 14, 2018 2:25pm

At the Major League Baseball owners’ meetings on Wednesday, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged that Machado’s comments to The Athletic about his approach to the game were “troubling” and would have to be reconciled if the Yankees are to sign him.

“If it’s a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” Steinbrenner told a small group of reporters. “But that’s really [general manager Brian Cashman’s] job. If we’re interested in any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?

Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is.”

Following up on that this afternoon at 4:00 on the Micheal Kay ESPN radio show simulcast on the YES Network Yankee general manager Brian Cashman demurred and deflected when asked about Machado's lack of hustle by mentioning former Yankee 2B Robinson Cano and Alfonso Soriano, who had reputations for not hustling but were basically acceptable to both Yankee management and players, implicitly suggesting that Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were not valued more for hustling all the time. Cashman is such a weasel. At least Cano and Soriano were never accused of being dirty players.

And there's also Machado initiating dirty plays as defined by about to be NL MVP Christian Yelich.

Christian Yelich calls Manny Machado a ‘dirty player’ after Game 4 incident. Machado says he is just playing baseball.
By Jesse Dougherty October 17, 2018
LOS ANGELES — Manny Machado is not making many friends this postseason, and the Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop does not seem to mind...

Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, the front-runner for the National League MVP award, was particularly peeved by the play.

“He is a player that has a history of those types of incidents,” Yelich told reporters. “One time is an accident, Repeated over and over and over again, it’s a dirty play. It’s a dirty play by a dirty player. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you can’t respect a guy who plays the game like that."

What should be troubling to Yankee fans is Hal Steinbrenner mentioning Machado at all for three reasons:
1. It tips off that the Yankees are interested.
2. Machado is overrated and not nearly worth the trouble.
3. The Yankees need Machado like they need a hole in the head; even with shortstop Didi Gregorius out for maybe half the season, the Yankees still have star 2018 rookie infielders 3B Miguel Andujar and 2B (natural SS) Gleyber Torres.

Machado overrated? Machado played 3B until 2018 when he switched to SS. His first two "regular" seasons, PA, OPS+:
2013 710 102
2014 354 110

Then Machado had these home runs and OPS+
2015 35 132
2016 37 130
2017 33 108
2018 37 146

Let's look at the best hitting players 2015-2018 who played at least 75% of their games at either SS or 3B, minimum 2,000 PA:

1Josh Donaldson14711921262015201829-324781799339506108732328994171841640173.281.383.548.931*5/DH63TOR-CLE
2Justin Turner1397820302015201830-3351017632685271235273190102885422148185.299.380.507.887*5/HD346LAD
3Kris Bryant13710724712015201823-265592100378598132153262951658859017233018.285.385.515.900*5/7938HD6CHC
4Carlos Correa1308120412015201820-2347117882704951036313221154201002251328.277.356.477.833*6/DHHOU
5Nolan Arenado12915827142015201824-27632243041772115919503237424411323171912.297.358.573.931*5/HDCOL
6Manny Machado12914228082015201822-25637253537272013863842383245010223744317.284.345.511.856*56BAL-LAD
7Anthony Rendon1227422042015201825-28519191530355113953022401335123026252211.288.369.481.851*5/4HWSN
8Francisco Lindor1199825902015201821-2457423063776651381331021416357182428467120.288.350.487.837*6/HDCLE
9Adrian Beltre1178221292015201836-395091923268562108732316214279190254841.292.349.484.833*5/DHTEX
10Eugenio Suarez1129422632015201823-265551998286532918304216853829416532012.266.344.461.805*56/HDCIN
11Xander Bogaerts1116125882015201822-25597234936569214613335201114422131461469.295.354.446.799*6/HBOS
12Kyle Seager11110526422015201827-30628238130860514253392192545426016511310.254.322.450.772*5/HD64SEA
13Evan Longoria1089325442015201829-32601233027761313711311161204862003353126.263.312.451.763*5/DHTBR-SFG
14Todd Frazier10712023922015201829-3257720912994791012322239753733227504120.229.314.451.766*5/D3HCIN-CHW-NYY-NYM
15Jean Segura1044724762015201825-2856423073306821161722211883462811115110035.296.336.422.758*64/HMIL-ARI-SEA
16Didi Gregorius1038123142015201825-2857821252875821069299125630627927282511.274.319.447.765*6/HDNYY
17Brandon Crawford1016123482015201828-315932109253548123182991883546924027612014.260.324.422.746*6/HSFG

Machado is number 6 with OPS+ 129. Not bad but not overwhelming, especially given his bad attitude and lack of hustle during his walk year, especially bad and stupid in the tournament. In the World Series Machado had no extra base hits and OPS .390. Career regular season: .822.

Machado is first in PA and second in HR to Arenodo 158 to 142.

Carlos Correa is one rank ahead of Machado in OPS+ and Correa has only played SS.

Way down at number 16 is Yankee SS Didi Gregorius, who fields like a demon and hustles like a maniac. Plus his batting has improved each of the last three years. home runs and OPS+:
2016 20 97
2017 25 106
2018 27 120

So comparing Machado and Gregorius in 2018 on home runs and OPS+:
Machado 37 146 (164 with Orioles, 122 with the Dodgers)
Gregorius 27 120

Machado is clearly better but Gregorius is a better fielding SS, how much is difficult to define as fielding numbers are ever changing and continuously searching for substance.

One theme heard is that the Yankees could sign Machado to a BIG long term deal and trade rookie 3B Miguel Andujar for a starting pitcher. So rather than signing a free agent pitcher, the Yankees would trade a VERY promising and inexpensive 3B in order to sign a VERY troubling and troubled 3B/SS for much more than they'd pay the pitcher. How the heck does that make any sense, unless the Yankees are convinced that their fans are craving bad boys and also want free agent outfielder Bryce Harper even though the Yankees already have outfileders Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton.

2018 home runs and OPS+:
Machado 37 146    Paid $16,000,000
Andujar 27 126    Paid about $535,000

Let's run the 3B/SS batting numbers for 2018 for at least 502 PA:

1Alex Bregman15631201824HOUAL15770559410517051110396285120315104.286.394.532.926*56/47
2Jose Ramirez15039201825CLEAL15769857811015638410510615808062346.270.387.552.939*54/D
3Manny Machado14637201825TOTML16270963284188353107701810420526142.297.367.538.905*65
4Anthony Rendon13724201828WSNNL136597529881634429255582508521.308.374.535.909*5
5Matt Chapman13624201825OAKAL145616547100152426685801469021812.278.356.508.864*5
6Eugenio Suarez13534201826CINNL143606527791492221046471429062011.283.366.526.892*5/6H
7Xander Bogaerts13523201825BOSAL136580513721484531035541026061482.288.360.522.883*6/H
8Nolan Arenado13338201827COLNL15667359010417538211073101223161622.297.374.561.935*5/HD
9Francisco Lindor13138201824CLEAL1587456611291834229270710783352510.277.352.519.871*6/D
10Trevor Story12737201825COLNL1576565988817442610847316870412276.291.348.567.914*6/H
11Miguel Andujar12627201823NYYAL149606573831704729225297404921.297.328.527.855*5D/H
12Didi Gregorius12027201828NYYAL1345695048913523586483697198106.268.335.494.829*6/H
13Eduardo Escobar11823201829TOTML15163156675154483845281265081224.272.334.489.824*56/H4
14Johan Camargo11619201824ATLNL13452446463126271765141086031311.272.349.457.806*56/H4
15Jean Segura11210201828SEAAL144632586911782936332269446172011.304.341.415.755*6
16Andrelton Simmons10911201828LAAAL14660055468162265753524451517102.292.337.417.754*6/D
17Mike Moustakas10828201829TOTML15263557366144331954951037061341.251.315.459.774*5D/H3
18Matt Duffy1044201827TBRAL13256050359148221444719371212126.294.361.366.727*5/HD6
19Trea Turner10019201825WSNNL162740664103180276736931325207439.271.344.416.760*6/H

Machado is a solid number three. Gregorius moves up from number 16 to 12, right behind Yankee teammate Andujar.

Why pay a lot of money for a headache to fill a hole that you don't even have?

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