Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will be busy Thursday, trying to woo free-agent left-hander Patrick Corbin.
At some point, Cashman is expected to turn his attention back to the big bats on the market: Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.
But what if Cashman passes on both because of what he sees happening in 2019?
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal explains:
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has gone public with his concerns about Machado’s “Johnny Hustle” comments. The Yankees seem lukewarm on Harper, in part because their only position available for him is first base. Could it be the team prefers to focus on pitching this offseason and then pursue Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado as a free agent next winter?
Such a strategy would come with no guarantees. The Rockies are expected to attempt to sign Arenado to an extension before the start of next season. The Yankees would need to outbid every other club for Arenado if he became a free agent. And Arenado is three years older than Harper and Machado. He will be 29 in the first year of his new contract, while the two free agents both will play next season at 26.