CLEVELAND — Whatever it takes.
The Yankees need to do what they have to do to acquire Manny Machado. If they happen to get stuck in a one-game wild-card playoff, that is exactly the reason you want Machado in your All-Star lineup. More firepower, please.
Spare me all the “got to get another starter’’ comments.
Get all the firepower you need for this postseason, because it’s not as if any of the starting pitchers available out there are going to be Justin Verlander.
The Yankees have a strong lineup, but Machado is the kind of premier talent who puts you over the top, and if you need that one big at-bat, he can deliver. The slugger can overcome pitching shortcomings.
When I asked Aaron Boone on Thursday night if he has addressed the Machado rumors in any way with this team, the Yankees manager said, “It’s that time of year and you can find yourself addressing rumors all the time. So, no, I don’t.’’
The Yankees and Indians had a dandy pitching matchup Thursday night at Progressive Field with ace Luis Severino facing fellow ace Corey Kluber.
The Dodgers, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Yankees all seem to be in on Machado.
Remember what Aaron Judge said in spring training.
It was back then that Judge noted of Machado: “Adding him to our lineup that we already got would be something special. I told him he’d look good in pinstripes.”
Judge got in a bit of tampering hot water for that comment, but he was 100 percent correct.
Machado would look good in pinstripes, and he knows it.
As Machado told me in mid-March about Judge’s comment: “Aaron Judge is a great kid and has a great future ahead of him. He means well, I don’t think he meant it in the wrong way, anything outside of any other player who has said that to another player.’’
When I asked Machado what was his reaction when Judge made that comment, Machado smiled.
He’s still smiling.
Machado “liked’’ an Instagram picture of himself in a Yankees uniform Wednesday night.
His numbers are off the charts. Machado owns 23 home runs, a slash line of .314/.383/.573 and a most robust .957 OPS.
Machado is not filling out a position of need for the Yankees, with Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Miguel Andujar at third base, so they will balk at a deal for lefty prospect Justus Sheffield, but that bat would mean so much to the Yankees’ championship run and take pressure off the other hitters.
If you are going to beat Verlander and company in Houston or Chris Sale and company in Boston, you need a bat like Machado’s in the middle of your lineup.
To get past a wild-card game, you need every hitter you can find. The great ones know how to get it done and Machado is a great one.
The Orioles want Sheffield, and to his credit, Brian Cashman has been terrific not mortgaging the future especially for a rental.
Machado, though, is such a great player that all things must be considered.
If the Yankees can do the rental without Sheffield, more power to them. Sheffield, 22, is a part of the future. I get it.
Adding Machado would be epic.
In spring training I remember talking to Cashman about the offense and Judge’s not wanting to be in the home run derby, Cashman said: “It’s my job to get as many home run derby candidates as I can find, that’s what I will continue to do.’’
Certainly, Cashman has to be mindful of the cost and the future costs of acquiring such a player, but Machado’s 23 home runs speak volumes. This is not a derby. This is 23 home runs for a dreadful team, including two against the Yankees the other day.
Machado just turned 26. He is a rental. You could always sign him as a free agent next year, but this is all about now. These Yankees have a great future. That future is going to be there even if they trade Sheffield. Consider everything.
This is about now. Make Machado a Yankee and watch this offense fly.