The upcoming Major League Baseball free agency class has been talked about for years now, with the likes of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and many other current and former All-Stars set to hit the open market.
Among the teams that will have ample money to spend are the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. Both clubs have remained under the luxury tax threshold this season to keep payroll flexibility for 2019.
The Dodgers traded for Machado at the non-waiver trade deadline and he has been as advertised in his time in Los Angeles. It is likely that they will look to re-sign him long-term.
It appears Machado’s preference may be to return to the American League East though as Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported the Yankees are believed to be his first choice:
But there are hints, and people close to Machado suggest the Yankees might just be his first choice. One Machado friend went so far as to say that Machado — who has professed his love for shortstop — would easily give up shortstop to play for the Yankees.
The Dodgers have also shown interest in Harper, claiming him off waivers from the Washington Nationals this past month, so they may shift their focus there if Machado were to sign with the Yankees.
Harper may actually be a better fit for Los Angeles as they have All-Star shortstop Corey Seager returning from injury in 2019, so he or Machado would have to switch positions if Machado were brought back.
The Dodgers also may need to re-sign ace Clayton Kershaw is he opts out of his contract though and given president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman’s previous history of unwillingness to hand out long-term contracts, both Machado and Harper may be out of their price range.
The Yankees are of course no stranger to notable transactions. They made a splash during the past offseason by trading for Giancarlo Stanton, who was connected to the Dodgers.