Then again, it may not have.
A team source told the Daily News that while the team has still not presented a formal offer to the free-agent infielder, neither have the Yankees been informed that they are out of the hunt, as reported by several news outlets on Wednesday.
A tweet by a reporter for a radio station in the Dominican Republic quoted an unnamed source that the hunt for Machado was down to just two teams, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. Machado visited both teams, as well as the Yankees, in mid-December.
“I haven’t been told that,’’ said the source, who requested anonymity in exchange for providing some details of the Yankees interactions with Machado.
But the source added that it was the Yankees understanding that Machado “wants more money than [Giancarlo] Stanton.’’ If true, said the source, “then good luck with that.’’
Earlier in the week, another source had told the Daily News that Machado’s free agent deal was expected to fall within the range of $220 million to $270 million, for either seven or eight years. The reference to Stanton’s contract – a record $325 million for 13 years signed with the Miami Marlins in 2014 – represented a major increase in Machado’s believed demands. Dan Lozano, Machado’s agent, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Machado, Lozano and Machado’s wife, Yainee, met with Yankees GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone and team president Randy Levine on Dec. 19, a meeting that included a tour of the club’s facilities at Yankee Stadium and dinner. According to a person familiar with the meeting, Machado and his wife made a favorable impression on the Yankees.
Machado, who turned 26 in July, is a rare player entering free agency in the prime of his career. In seven seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and 66 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Machado batted .282 with 175 home runs, 513 RBI and an .822 OPS. He did not perform well in the World Series, however, batting just .182 with no homers and just three RBI in the Dodgers’ five-game loss to the Boston Red Sox. He also made headlines by appearing to acknowledge in an interview that he does not always run hard out of the batter’s box, a statement that Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he would need to have clarified.
Apparently, Machado did an adequate job of clarification in his meeting with the Yankees.
“He was not at all what we were led to believe,’’ the source said. “He and his wife are lovely people.’’