New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman stated Monday that the team is not shopping for Bryce Harper or any outfielders this offseason.
However, the Yankees confirmed that they talked with All-Star SS Manny Machado. Meanwhile, the juicy story percolating in all of the New York City tabloids this week is a potential three-way trade between the Yankees and NY Mets.
No Bronx for Bryce
The Bryce Harper sweepstakes are heating up. The 2015 NL MVP and his agent, Scott Boras, visited multiple teams and fielded pitches on why he should suit up for them next season.
The Nationals signed Patrick Corbin to the 13th richest contract in MLB history. The Nats might have overpaid for Corbin, previously with the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a six-year deal worth $140 million. With the Nats opening up the checkbook to sign Corbin, they apparently tipped their hand that they were not in the running for Harper. It’s not really their fault because Harper and Boras declined a potential deal valued at $300 million over 10 years.
Harper rejected the $30 million a year deal and clearly wants to play somewhere else. But Washington, nor the Bronx will be in Harper’s future. The LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox are leading candidates for Harper. The Yankees are not even on the short list.
During the first day of winter meetings in the MLB, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told reporters something that seemed utterly obvious to him.
“At no point all winter have I said I am looking for an outfielder,” Cashman said. “The Harper stuff? I am surprised you are still asking.”
The Yankees are stocked with outfielders including Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier.
The Ghost of Johnny Hustle
Despite losing shortstop Didi Gregorious to Tommy John surgery, fans would rather fill his spot internally than overspend for a free agent that’s not a starting pitcher. Fans soured on Manny Machado after his Johnny Hustle comments were made public. Machado is a sensational player, but he doesn’t always hustle. He would rather let his statistics tell the story than leg out groundballs and popups.
Machado went from the last-place Baltimore Orioles to the World Series when Baltimore traded him to the Dodgers. Overall, Machado crushed 37 homeruns last season and hit .297 with the O’s and Dodgers. His bat would fit in well with the Baby Bronx Bombers.
Machado slumped in the postseason and hit only .182 against the Red Sox with only four hits and no homeruns. In Machado’s defense, the entire Dodgers suffered a bad series against the inevitable champions.
The latest news out of New York City has been the discussion of a potential three-way trade with the Yankees, Mets, and a third team.
Former agent-turned-GM, Brodie Van Wagenen of the Mets, already pulled the trigger on a trade with the Seattle Mariners that brought Robinson Cano back to NYC. The Mets also acquired closer Edwin Diaz in the deal.
The Marlins seemed more concerned with their team colors and new uniforms than signing free agents. As Derek Jeter continues to gut the Marlins, catcher JT Realmuto has come up in many discussions.
Cashman and Van Wagenen have been talking about a three-team trade with the Miami Marlins. The Yankees would love to work out a trade in which they would send prospects to the Marlins. In return, the Marlins would send Realmuto to the Mets. And then the Mets would send pitcher Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx. There would also be cash and prospects thrown in from the Yankees.
Cashman wants to pull off the trade sooner than later, but the Mets have been reticent to deal Syndergaard.
Future in Pinstripes
The New York Yankees have been busy this offseason trying to improve the young team with free agent signings and timely trades. The Yankees quickly locked up veteran CC Sabathia, who will close out his Hall of Fame career with one final season in pinstripes.
The Yankees traded top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield to the Seattle Mariners for lefty flamethrower James Paxton.
The Nationals beat out the Yankees in the quest to sign Patrick Corbin. The Yanks are still desperate to acquire a top arm to fill out their rotation. Cashman is also seriously interested in acquiring Trevor Bauer or Cory Kluber from the Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees are listed as 13-2 favorites to win the 2019 World Series. The Boston Red Sox are 6-1 favorites to repeat, while the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros are also 6-1.