The New York Yankees have been linked to a few of the biggest players in 2018 free agency. While the team certainly has the money to afford a big name like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will make a major splash this offseason.
“We’re just trying to make sound decisions that will positively impact us and not cripple us at the same time,” Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman recently told YES Network’s Jack Curry. “You’re not gonna get it right all the time, but I’d rather stay away from splash as much as make it, like, ‘That makes sense.’ Whatever it is. If it’s a big impactful import or if it’s a small one. The people I respect in this industry, I want them to be like, ‘Wow, that chess move made a lot of sense.’”
Can Yankee fans expect any more "splashy" signings this offseason?
Brian Cashman reveals his answer. pic.twitter.com/y2VqwCz6cK
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) November 30, 2018
A year ago, it seemed like a union between the Yankees and Harper was a strong possibility. Now, it looks like a long shot. The Yankees got their high-priced outfielder when they traded for Giancarlo Stanton, and the team probably won’t give Harper $350 million to move to first base.
Machado could find his way to the Bronx. The Yankees have a need on the left side of the infield now that Didi Gregorius is expected to miss at least the first half of the 2019 season, and Machado reportedly has eyes on playing in New York. The 26-year-old also has eyes on a contract that few players have ever received, and the odds might be against the Yankees meeting those demands.
The Philadelphia Phillies are targeting Machado, and they appear to be more willing than the Yankees to give him a few hundred million dollars. Curry said he believes Machado would have to lower his asking price for the Yankees to sign him, and The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal suggested the organization might wait another year to dole out big money for a position player.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the most common guess among baseball executives is that Machado will land in Philadelphia and Harper will re-sign with the Washington Nationals.
Acquiring Patrick Corbin wouldn’t create the same headlines as Harper or Machado going to New York would, but it’d still be a significant addition for the Yankees. The 29-year-old is the best starting pitcher on the market, and he’s expected to command a deal comparable to the six-year, $126 million contract Yu Darvish signed with the Chicago Cubs a year ago.
The Yankees are reportedly one of three teams in the running to land Corbin. The free agent met with New York, Philadelphia and Washington this week.
Corbin grew up a Yankees’ fan in Central New York, possibly giving the Yankees the edge. New York has made upgrading their rotation the top priority this season, and they are expected to get another high-profile pitcher if Corbin doesn’t choose to don the pinstripes.