Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with media today in Las Vegas and provided updates on several potential targets (and non-targets) on the team’s radar this winter. The highlights….
- Cashman gave his firmest answer yet about the Yankees’ apparent lack of interest in Bryce Harper, telling reporters (including Newsday’s David Lennon and the New York Post’s Joel Sherman) “I’m surprised you’re still asking” about the free agent outfielder. Cashman reiterated that the Yankees don’t have room for Harper, as the club already has six outfielders and Harper isn’t viewed as a first base option, and the general manager would prefer to spend on more pressing areas of need on the roster. While this could be some gamesmanship on Cashman’s part, he isn’t saying anything that isn’t true, as making a $400MM splurge on Harper wouldn’t seem to be the best use of the team’s resources.
- Manny Machado, however, still seems to be a target. Cashman said he’d had “several conversations” with Dan Lozano, Machado’s agent (via Sherman and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Twitter), though the two sides had yet to meet at the Winter Meetings. Reports yesterday from Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman indicated that the Yankees had interest in Machado but weren’t willing to spend more than $300MM to sign him, which could be a roadblock to an eventual signing. Unlike with Harper, the Yankees have a clearer positional need for Machado, given that Miguel Andujar’s mediocre glovework may require him to move away from third base, and shortstop Didi Gregorius will miss at least part of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Speaking of Gregorius, Cashman again noted (via Sherman) that he would like to retain the shortstop on a long-term deal.
- Cashman has also spoken to agent Scott Boras about one of his more notable free agent clients, Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi (via Feinsand). The GM first mentioned his team’s interest in Kikuchi a few weeks ago, and the Yankees have a long history of landing top talents out of Japan.
- The Yankees considered Patrick Corbin to be the best free agent pitcher available, though Cashman said the team wasn’t comfortable about giving the left-hander a six-year contract (as per The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler and WFAN’s Sweeny Murti). Since Corbin was firm in looking for that sixth year, New York never made him a formal contract offer. Corbin did land that six-year deal, and $140MM in salary, from the Nationals last week.