The Yankees have reached the offseason many believed would see them make monumental moves that push them back to the head of the pack in the American League, as they aim for a 28th World Series title.
Here is an update of rumors surrounding the Yankees pursuits, followed by my take on how things currently stand and may shake out...
Corbin heads to Washington, Yankees to drawing board
After Patrick Corbin agreed to a six-year, $140 million deal with the Nationals, SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Yankees were unwilling to tack on a sixth year. Martino suggests that the Yankees will remain engaged with J.A. Happ, but feel concerned about offering him a third year.
Finally, Martino states the Yankees could re-engage with the Indians regarding the availability of Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco, or speak with free-agent righty Nathan Eovaldi.
MY TAKE: I wrote early on that the Yankees didn't seem like the type of team that was going to get into a bidding war for Corbin, and that the sixth year might be negligent on their part. In that respect, Corbin signing elsewhere is the least bit surprising. The Yankees should be concerned with Happ and a third year, as that would bring him through his age-38 season. Further, Happ is not a difference maker, whereas Kluber or Carrasco would be and Eovaldi, despite two Tommy John surgeries under his belt, represents a pitcher with significant upside. The Yankees would be wise to exhaust the trade angle, and if that fails, shift to Eovaldi before falling back on Happ.
Before Corbin signed with Washington, Martino reported that one rival executive stated, "Cash is on him, believe me," in reference to the Yankees interest in free agent infielder Manny Machado. Meanwhile, Martino reported Tuesday that despite the Yankees supposedly meeting with Scott Boras, Bryce Harper's agent, in Las Vegas, it doesn't change the notion that he is not considered a fit at this time.
MY TAKE: If the Yankees had any intention of making a free-agent splash, it would seem to be Machado or Harper with Corbin off the board. It does seem less likely that Harper would be the choice in that he would have to learn how to play first base to be considered a roster fit. The position change is easier said than done, but the Yankees could use a potent left-handed bat, and Harper inarguably fits that bill, which is why we cannot completely write off a potential union. However, Machado fits across the board, so if the Yankees feel satisfied after meeting with him concerning his "Johnny Hustle" comments, the Bombers could reel in the 26-year-old with a very lucrative and lengthy contract.
Yankees continue to mull Gray offers
Lastly, as the Yankees search for a rotation arm (or two), they remain active in trying to ship out Sonny Gray. MLB Network's Jon Morosi tweeted confirmations that the Brewers and Padres have recently entered the trade bidding for Gray. The 29-year-old righty has lost favor in the Bronx, and Martino reported recently that 11 teams have checked in on Gray with the Yankees are waiting for "the right deal."
MY TAKE: It's pretty amazing that a pitcher one club wants as far away as possible has such a large group of teams desiring his services. It seemed laughable to some that Gray would have any market, but it just goes to show how many organizations - including the Yankees - simply believe that Gray might flourish elsewhere. Now, it is on the Yankees to minimally attempt to retrieve similar prospect value as to what they gave up to acquire Gray from the Athletics in the summer of 2017. With this many clubs involved, the Yankees might well attain a solid return for Gray, which is surely better than watching him fail in the Bronx.