While the Yankees' pursuit of Manny Machado hasn't been aggressive, the Bombers haven't been on Bryce Harper's radar all offseason.
Yes, the Yankees don't necessarily need Harper with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in their outfield already. But, at age 26 and a left-handed power bat, Harper would be a perfect fit in the Bronx.
So what's held the Yankees back from looking Harper's way? CBS Sports' Jim Bowden says it's Harper's defense and price tag that is turning the Yankees off.
"I don't like their answer, but they're worried about the defensive metrics, they worried about the fact thaty have Giancarlo Stanton on the books at $325 million," Bowden said. "They know they have to take care of Judge. They just took care of [Luis] Severino. They've got to worry about [Dellin] Betances. And Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres have to be signed and I think Hal Steinbrenner just didn't want another $300 million exposure, but I'm with you guys, I thought Bryce Harper would be a Yankee."
The Yankees are already over the luxury tax for this season when it comes to their current payroll. But, more importantly, Bowden points out the Yankees already owning a monster deal in Stanton's contract they took on after their trade last offseason with the Marlins.
Then, there's Harper's defense that the Yankees' analytics team has clearly found issues with. Bowden, though, doesn't like this reasoning given Harper's bat outrules his average glove.
"I've watched this kid a lot and he's going to be an average defender in right field and that's good enough for me with the kind od bat he brings to the table."
No matter the case, the Yankees are not going to be giving Harper his desired megadeal this offseason. Bowden believes the Phillies or even the Nationals will in the end.
"I see Bryce Harper either going to the Phillies or perhaps the Nationals but I keep hearing there's a lot of momentum and traction here on him going and signing with the Philadelphia Phillies and he could be round third and going to home shortly," Bowden said. "I'm hearing they're pretty well down the process here."