Yankees Mailbag: Manny Machado at third base in 2019?

The Winter Meetings begin next Monday on the outskirts of Washington, assuming that the owners and the players have struck a new labor deal, of course.

Brian Cashman has been quiet to this point in the offseason, but the meetings are typically where things begin to heat up. What could Yankees fans be in store for in the next week or two? Let’s open the mailbag.

New FA Chris Carter is 29 years old and had 41 homers last year. On Yankees radar? IMO better than a 35 and 39 year old DH. — Adam D. @adamdepasqua

Carter is an interesting possibility. He’s got incredible power — his 41 homers tied for tops in the National League this past season — but he strikes out a ton, averaging 188 Ks a year since 2012.

The Yankees could use the righthanded power bat, and with the DH spot open, he would be a less expensive option than Carlos Beltran or Mike Napoli. Carter’s numbers are actually quite comparable to Mark Trumbo’s, yet Trumbo is in line to get a big payday this winter.

Will the Yankees take a run at Carter? According to a source, they have had several conversations with his reps but have yet to make an offer. Stay tuned.

How likely is it that they’ll resign Eovaldi after his rehab? — Richard P. @rpachter

In case you missed it, the Yankees released Nathan Eovaldi this week to open a spot on their 40-man roster, though that was hardly a surprise given that the righthander will miss all of 2017 following his Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees could bring him back, most likely on a two-year deal with a low base for next season and an incentive-laden 2018, something they’ve done in the past with other TJ patients such as Jon Lieber.

But Eovaldi’s powerful arm has wowed teams for years, so there could be multiple teams trying to sign him. Given the lack of starting pitchers on the market, I could see a team taking a risk on Eovaldi and overpaying him to secure his rights. I’d guess he’ll wind up elsewhere.

What does the 2018 Yankees infield look like? — Adam G. @adamGobj

We’re still 18 months away from that, but my guess would be Gary Sanchez behind the plate, Greg Bird at first base, Gleyber Torres at second base, Didi Gregorius at shortstop and Starlin Castro at third base. Castro could remain at second and Torres could move to third, but I think the Yankees envision Torres playing second base going forward, so they’d be more likely to put him there.

No more than 7 images from any single MLB game, workout, activity or event may be used (including online and on apps) while that game, activity or event is in progress.

Chris Carter’s 41 homers tied him for the National League lead in 2016.

(Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Chase Headley is signed through 2018, but if he’s not traded this winter, I can see the Yankees trying to move him a year from now when he has only one year remaining on his deal — especially if Torres is ready.

After 2018? Manny Machado plays third base.

Is right field Aaron Judge’s spot to lose or do you see him splitting time with Hicks, Austin and Refsnyder? — Greg L. @leegreg428

Hal Steinbrenner said this week on the YES Network that he expects Judge to be his right fielder, which tells me that the 24-year-old will be given every chance to win the job.

“He’s got some work to do; he knows that,” Steinbrenner said of Judge, who hit .179 with 42 strikeouts in 95 plate appearances after being called up in early August. “We’re going to figure out exactly what we think is wrong. My expectations are he’s going to be my starting right fielder this year. That’s a big deal and a big opportunity. I know he’s going to make the most of it.”

Hicks will see plenty of playing time spelling Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury in left and center, while he’ll also likely see some time in right if Judge spends any time as the designated hitter.

As I’ve said before, this year is about the kids. The Yankees need to see who’s real and who’s not, giving them a sense of who to count on going forward. Judge is a big part of that, so he’ll get plenty of opportunities to show he can make the necessary adjustments.

Which of the current crop of prospects do you believe that yanks see as expendable in a trade? — Mikey @MikeySpeers

Given the addition of Torres, I would think Jorge Mateo would be the top available prospect if the deal was there for the Yankees, though he could just as easily wind up as their center fielder of the future.

Guys like Tyler Austin and Rob Refsnyder could be had, though I wouldn’t label either of them as big prospects at this point. Players such as Sanchez, Bird, Judge, Torres and Clint Frazier aren’t going anywhere, nor is Justus Sheffield, who represents their best hope for a big-time starter coming out of the system.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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