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Brian Cashman: ‘There are fair questions to be asked’ about Manny Machado

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Thursday doubled down on the organization’s concern over perceived issues surrounding free agent Manny Machado.

Cashman weighed in on one of free agency’s biggest prizes this offseason one day after Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner used the word “troubling” to describe Machado’s cavalier comments last month about hustle.

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen,” Machado told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal about not running out a groundout during Game 2 of the NLCS. “That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”

The Yankees general manager ultimately will be responsible for figuring out whether Machado would be a fit in the Bronx despite the red flags. Cashman mentioned Thursday how meeting with players personally can go a long way in making that determination.

“I’ve definitely met with players in free agency many times over and had a good, honest dialogue that either made us more interested in the player,” Cashman said, via the New York Post. “I don’t want to call anything recruiting as much as educational.”

Machado aside, Cashman made note of the Yankees’ advantageous position heading into free agency as the organization is well-positioned to make a big splash.

“It remains to be seen,” Cashman said of whether the Yankees will sign a marquee name. “… We’re capable of being big-game hunters.”

All the posturing over Machado by Yankees brass and ownership of course could be an orchestrated effort at gamesmanship with the desired end result being to lower the slugger’s market value. While the gambit may or may not pay dividends, there are no shortage of suitors for Machado, so anything that may work in the Yankees’ favor is worth the effort.

On whether or not the Yankees will actually make a run at Machado?

“We’ll see. I don’t want to show my cards,” Cashman said.