How much of an upgrade is he?
To make a staggering investment of this magnitude worthwhile, Machado’s addition needs to fill a hole that upgrades the Yankees significantly. As great as he’s capable of being, it’s not clear that he provides them with that type of upgrade.
FanGraphs rated Machado ninth among major league position players with 6.2 WAR last season. His value is that of a true superstar yet signing him doesn’t mean adding a 6+ WAR player to the Yankees roster. He’s replacing an All-Star in Gregorius valued at 4.6 WAR.
Offensively, Didi wasn’t that far behind Manny this year.
Machado: .297/.367/.538, 37 home runs, 107 RBI, 141 wRC+
Gregorius: .268/.335/.494, 27 home runs, 86 RBI, 121 wRC+
Gregorius was limited to 28 fewer games by injuries that briefly sapped his production following a scorching start before he picked it up again in the second half. He’s not a great defensive shortstop but he’s not the liability that Machado has been.
Sure, Machado is an upgrade but not enough of one over Gregorius to push the Yankees ahead of the Red Sox. Perhaps not even enough of an upgrade to warrant the mammoth contract he’s bound to receive.