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Yankees doing extensive due diligence on Manny Machado

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The Yankees began the offseason with talk of modest goals and keeping under the luxury tax threshold, but not everyone believes that they are going to sit out the big time free agents this winter. One suggestion that they might be bluffing is a report from Jayson Stark of The Athletic — referenced in Ken Rosenthal’s Monday column — that the Yankees are doing “extensive” background work on Manny Machado.

While the Yankees research almost everyone available, Stark and Rosenthal think it notable that everyone from manager Aaron Boone, to scouts to members of the front-office have been making calls. Likely to check up on Machado’s character and attitude and personality, all of which came into greater focus during the postseason when Machado was involved in some arguably dirty play and when his hustle and work ethic was brought into question.

Personally, I think that stuff was overblown a bit — anything that occurs during the postseason tends to get a spotlight put on it — but you can’t fault anyone for double or triple checking given that Machado is going to represent a substantial financial investment.

Assuming he passes this battery of tests the baseball merits for Machado make all kinds of sense for the Yankees, who will be without injured shortstop Didi Gregorius for a good chunk of next season and who have a huge defensive question mark at third base in Miguel Andjuar. Machado’s bat would obviously be a huge addition to the Yankees’ already potent offensive attack, but given where he plays, he’d fit in particularly well in the Bronx.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.