Hey, Yankees fans: Can we stop hitting the panic button please?
After the Nationals signed LHP Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million deal (which is way too much), all hell broke loose on social media with fans spewing out backlash -- some even saying the entire offseason was a "failure" because GM Brian Cashman was outbid for the coveted lefty. And those knee-jerk reactions continued when Nathan Eovaldi re-signed with the division-rival Red Sox.
For those of you that indulged in these talks, go grab a paper bag, stress ball, or whatever makes you calm down. These two signings doesn't mean it's the end of the world for the Yankees in 2019.
Why? Well, for one, James Paxton is in pinstripes next season after Cashman struck a trade with the Mariners earlier this offseason. Paxton had similar numbers to Corbin last season, and comes at a price tag of $4.9 million compared to Corbin's $23 million average over the next six seasons.
Yes, there is no denying having Paxton and Corbin in the same rotation would have been ideal. But the Yankees were content with their five-year offer, and didn't want to throw all their eggs in one basket for a pitcher that has produced a couple good seasons over his six-year career.
With that being said, the Yankees are fully aware there are other options still out there to bolster their rotation as well as their lineup to hopefully top the Red Sox in the AL East.
So, for those fans destressing and those normal ones wondering where the Yankees should pivot next, here are there options...
Normally, if Cashman absolutely wants someone on his team, he wouldn't let a team outbid him like the Nats did with Corbin. But the fact he didn't want to go over five years shows that he was fine with another team risking more. And Happ has a lot to do with that. He proved the Yankees he is still extremely effective after his time with them in the second half last year.
Happ appears to be looking for a three-year deal right now, and the Yankees don't want to go over two years considering he is already 36 years old. His market is "intensifying," according to SNY's Andy Martino, after the signings of Corbin and Eovaldi. So Cashman could stay with a familiar arm that would also pair nicely with Paxton and the rest of the Yanks rotation.
Keuchel may have had a down year in 2018, but that still had a fine tune of a 3.74 ERA over 204.2 innings. He did allow the most hits ever in his career with 211, though.
But the 30-year-old may very well be the most intriguing pitcher on the free-agent market given his success these past couple season, especially in 2017. He's even said last month that he would "happily" shave his signature beard if he would don pinstripes next season.
However, the Yankees haven't been high on Keuchel -- at least not publicly. As Fancred Sports Jon Heyman wrote, "It's unclear why the Yankees haven't been linked to Dallas Keuchel, even after losing out on Corbin. Keuchel seems to like the big stage and word is he likes the idea of playing in a big city."
We all know how Cashman operates, though. Keuchel has had success at Yankee Stadium in the past, so why not have him pitch there half the season?
The Indians want to cut payroll, and these two starting pitchers are among the names thrown out there. The Yankees certainly have the prospect depth to strike a trade for either pitcher, which means a potential trade would come down to the team's willingness to let go of top talent.
Kluber and Bauer definitely warrant it after their track record. Bauer has figured out how to master his six-pitch arsenal with a 2.21 ERA and 221 strikeouts last season. The Yankees would have two years of team control before he hits free agency in 2021 as well.
Kluber is even better with three years of control before he hits the market in 2022. At 32, he is still highly efficient each season with a sub-3 ERA the past two seasons. And of course he has two Cy Youngs under his belt, with his latest coming in 2017.
Manny Machado and Bryce Harper sweepstakes
And after all those pitching options, we have these two free-agent juggernauts that would certainly change the failure narrative.
Cashman won't indulge on whether or not either All-Star is on their radar. If one had to be chosen, though, it would be Machado. The Yankees have a hole at shortstop with Didi Gregorius to start the season after Tommy John surgery, and Machado could slide right in.
Harper, on the other hand, would only add to the loaded outfield the Yankees have already. But his agent, Scott Boras, made sure to emphasize the fact that he would be willing to move to first base. Oh, and if you didn't know already, he grew up a Yankee fan.
Will Cashman shell out the over $300 million over 10-plus years both players are expecting? No one knows for sure. But he can make it happen if he wants to pull the trigger, and return to "The Yankee Way" of getting top talent to rule the MLB once again.