According to former GM turned baseball insider Steve Phillips, the Yankees “will not be in on Harper.” Their priorities are pitching and free agent Manny Machado.
Bad news for Scott Boras and Bryce Harper: per a source the #Yankees “will not be in on Harper.” Not a complete surprise as indicated by re-signing of Brett Gardner. Seems Machado and pitching additions are Plan A.
— Steve Phillips (@StevePhillipsGM) November 3, 2018
The news isn’t all that surprising. The Yankees already have a pretty crowded outfield as it is.
With the chances of re-signing free agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, who will miss time in 2019 due to Tommy John surgery, considered unlikely. Going after Machado makes sense.
In addition to the need for a shortstop, the Yankees pitching let them down when it counted in the postseason and needs to be addressed. So not backing up over $400 million for Harper seems like a pretty smart move on their part.