If general manager Brian Cashman is to be believed, we can all but count the New York Yankees out of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.
Cashman dismissed the possibility of the Yankees signing Harper, noting the team’s crowded outfield.
Brian Cashman indicated that Bryce Harper isn’t a fit for the #Yankees. Said the team already has six outfielders and that playing Harper at first base isn’t realistic.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 10, 2018
This is something of a surprise. The Yankees are easily one of the most sensible destinations.
To an extent, we can see position being a concern. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will obviously handle New York’s corner outfield spots for the foreseeable future. Harper has some experience in center, but is a far better corner outfielder.
But let’s get real. Even as a below average defender, Harper’s offense would make him a significant net positive over Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, or Brett Gardner. The idea that any one of them would keep the Yankees from signing Harper is laughable.
If Cashman’s words are accurate, the best guess is that this comes down to money. Given how close New York has been to the World Series in each of the last two years and its usual immense budget, that will not be an easy pill for fans to swallow.