Monday , March 20 2023

Bryce Harper might be a decent fit for the Yankees after all


When Yankees gained the reign of NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and the $ 286 million left to his contract in December 2017, most of Bryce Harper's will never carry the gate. With the help of Stanton in addition to Judge Aaron and an impressive salary against the luxury tax threshold, GM Brian Cashman was probably comfortable with a line that included the top two hitlers in 2017, surrounded by the youngest jump in the game Gary Sanchez) long term (Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar). Prior to the start of the season, the Yankees favored the winner, even over the Astros defense champion.

Then rival Red Sox took the Yankees into ALDS and claimed the fourth edition of the 2004 World Series. New York fans continue to win 27 franchise rings, but a more uncomfortable reality runs out: Boston has won two championships since the last time the yankees won the fanna, and the most spoiled baseball baseball fans get excited.

The Yankees post-mortem day is one of the most fun and ridiculous days in sports media, and lectures broke out in the morning after the abolition of ALDS in New York: Stanton's trade with Dodgers. Sign Manny Machado. And the best of all: Sign up for Bryce Harper.

Sources within the organization insist that Harper is not in Yankees' plans to the most prominent reporters of baseball media. Cashman said in a news conference this week that he does not want to exceed the luxury tax threshold, which the Yankees only reach 49 million dollars.

But history – from Reggie Jackson's purchases to Alex Rodriguez at Stanton – tells us to never exclude the Evil Empire. On Wednesday, it was reported that Harper rejected a 10-year deal of 300 million dollars from citizens. So let's break it off: are the Yankees suited for Bryce Harper, or as Boras scrot says "Harper's Bazaar"?


Typically, close to the top of the MLB salary, Yankees has four major financial commitments falling in 2019 in their salaries of $ 101.8 million (sixth place in the MLB). The most onerous contract belongs to Jacoby Ellsbury, due next year, of $ 21 million, and a total of $ 47 million in the past three seasons of the contract. After that, Stanton (26 million in 2019), Masahiro Tanaka ($ 22 million) and Aroldis Chapman ($ 17.4 million).

Only Cashman has failed to face Ellsbury, the 35-year-old injured who has not played since 2017. It is unlikely that a team will want him as a starter and certainly not at his own expense. Cashman is revered for his ability to win trades. The best recent work was when he downloaded Chase Headley and his $ 13 million salary to Padres a day after he bought Stanton for a minor league Jabari Blash; San Diego will reduce Headley in May after he has hit .115 in 27 games. If Cashman can make someone take even half of Ellsbury's contract, he will confirm that he is more sorry than the head of the front office.

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Harper's signing would send the Yankees to raise over the luxury tax that Cashman indicated would like to stay below this year. Perhaps it is a problem; Boras quoted the lack of interest of the Yankees audience Mark Teixeira before signing an eight-year agreement of 180 million dollars in 2008. But keep in mind that this is a different ownership group, one with more tax constraints and a greater focus on player development. What was one of the most empty systems of a league ten years ago generated for the beginning a lot of top talent – judges, Sanchez, Andujar and Luis Severino – now that they spend less freely on agents free of charge.

The difference is that Harper is a generational player whose ceiling is as big as the others (including Mike Trout) in the game. The MVP season 2015 is one of the greatest offensive achievements so far, and he would have hit in one of the worst baseball bouts. If there is a player who deserves the big money, Harper seems to be the ideal game, even if it links to salary for the foreseeable future.


Boras suggested that Harper would be open to playing the first base for the right team and that he only takes land to maintain the open option. It's hard to imagine a player with Harper's arm and a range that moves into a position he has never played, but this is a speculative column, so we'll consider it. But since he is an outfielder today, let's see if there is room for him there.

With Aaron Hicks appearing as a day center agent, with Brett Gardner returning with Judge and Stanton manipulating the right and designated hitter, there is no open space for Harper. Add Ellsbury and look at Clint Frazier's prospect to the depth and there's a great chance that Cashman will move an outfielder even if the team does not sign Harper.

But there is no logjam, and the number of outsiders does not exclude New York from signing Harper. Hicks is one of Yankees' most valuable assets: he has established himself as a day-to-day dignitary by defending him, hit 27 hostesses last season and is estimated to have only $ 6.5 million in arbitration. The starting point is a great deal for the Yankees and it would be for any team that wants to trade for it. As Jon Tayler remarked earlier this week, the Yankees have to back their rotation before thinking about a sprinkling movement like signing Harper or Manny Machado. Hicks is the kind of center that could help with this type of trade.

A more valuable commercial face is Frazier. He is only 24 years old and showed that some of his first wonders lit up in 39 games in 2017. Stanton's posting put aside the young slugger's job in the immediate plans of New York and limited it to just 15 big games in 2018 , player with 30 homer power. The problem for Cashman is that other chief executives know that Frazier is a superfluous piece, so they know they will not have to give up the best goods to get it.

The team had the option of denying Brett Gardner's option but Cashman signed the Yankee career (and one of his favorite players) for another season, which means the veteran will stay left. With the judge as a device on the right, Harper will replace Hicks in the center (unlikely) or move to the first base.

First base? Probably the only place for Harper's team.

The chronic lesions that haunted Greg Bird, long considered the first baseman of the future, forced the yankees to find at least one first-platoon in the second half of the past season. They landed Luke Voit, the cardinal exporters who bloomed the Bronx with its mammoth power and the torrid performance in the second half. There is no reason to question Voit: he hit .333 / .405 / .689 with 14 homers in just 148 appearances with New York before adding big hits in the Wild Card Game against Oakland and Game 1 against Red Sox. Whether it fits in the long run is unclear, but has won another shot at its starting point with its remarkable performance.

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Harper's perspective at first is tantalizing. It is rather young that learning a new position is not an entirely radical idea; Dodgers turned Cody Bellinger from a first bass player and a part-time sportsman into a favorite center this season because of his gross athletics. Harper is able to play his position, and his thought of hitting his homers over the short wall on the left is a terrifying perspective for any opponent.

In short? He can learn to play the first base. And the Yankees will certainly look at the idea of ​​moving there.


With the judges, Sanchez, Torres and Voit in their pre-arbitration years, and Severino arrives at arbitration for the first time this year, the Yankees benefit from incredible talent without too much expense. Contrary to fan wishes, Stanton will not go anywhere with his massive contract, and Ellsbury's deal will be even more difficult to move. The judge is not a free agent until 2023, but he is already the most popular player played by Derek Jeter. The front office needs to start preparing its budget, and Sanchez is another full-blown player who will ultimately lead a big deal.

The Harper is not the most sensitive move for the Yankees right now, and the likelihood of him signing is low. No one, however, thought they would appear as players in the Stanton negotiations.

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