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Lingering Thoughts on Four Lefties

It’s December. The weather is cold and so is the hot stove. I don’t think that I am the only Yankee fan who was wishfully hoping that after the Paxton trade occurred, it would open the flood gates and the full blown rush of the Yankees’ off-season plan would happen. That was not the case. Up to this point, the only trickles that have come were for a Quadruple-A Swiss Army Knife A.J. Cole 2.0 type pitcher and trading Ronald Torreyes… hardly the action I was craving.

That being said, I live in Dallas and I am used to it being 40 degrees one day and 75 degrees the next. So here’s to hoping that any day now the Yankees will crank up the heat on the hot stove and give us something to talk about.

Right now I’ve got lefties on the brain. Lefty hitters, lefty starters, and lefty relievers. If they’re lefty, I’m thinking about them. Here are a few thoughts on some of the big name lefties that are out there:

Patrick Corbin

Thursday was Patrick Corbin day in the Bronx. That morning I saw a tweet of a leaked picture of Corbin on the huge Yankee Stadium scoreboard. The photo showed Patrick Corbin in a Yankees uniform, part of the team’s sales pitch to Corbin, that I loved! I was pumped. That was just the beginning. As the day went on there were multiple “leaks” and “sources” all over social media – Did Patrick Corbin’s brother really put on a Yankees hat during his toast at Patrick’s wedding?? It sure got me fired up reading about it.

News broke last week that Corbin had been meeting with the Phillies and Nationals as well. Yankee fans all over seemed to panic that he was meeting with other teams. I think it’s only natural to assume that he is going to do his due diligence and hear out any of the teams that are serious about making offers to him. There is no need to panic yet. He just might be wearing pinstripes soon.

I think the Yankees have the advantage in this because he supposedly has wanted to play for the Yankees since he was a kid. That has to count for something! But, of course, I’m never really sure how much weight that plays in situations like this. It seems nice to imagine, but I’m not sure that I’d take a discounted deal just to play for the Yankees if it meant sacrificing 20-25 million dollars. It seems that Patrick Corbin’s contract will be in the neighborhood of 5-6 years at a total of 120-135 million dollars. There have been rumors that the Yankees don’t want to offer him 6 years, but the Phillies might be willing to. That’s a guaranteed extra 15-20 million dollars he’d get by going to Philadelphia. That would be hard to pass up. As fans we’re very quick to dismiss this as an actual real life situation. If most of us ever got 15-20 million dollars, it would be the crowning achievement of our lives. So I want to balance the two sides of my brain that are telling me that Corbin wants to be a Yankee and the fact that the Yankees might not be the highest offer on the table. We’ll see what happens…

It seems most of Yankee nation has assumed that Patrick Corbin is coming to the Bronx eventually. I’d love to have him!

Bryce Harper

I’m a little biased when it comes to Harper. We belong to the same faith and I personally think it would be really cool to see him in pinstripes. My baseball side also prefers Harper over any other position free agent player on the market. It keeps me up at night imagining what Harper could do in Yankee Stadium! Here is a superstar that is there for the taking. All the Yankees have to do is open their wallets.

The notion that the Yankees could be out on Harper just because they signed Brett Gardner again is a little beyond me. I don’t think anyone is expecting Gardy to be the everyday left fielder. Those days are over.

For some reason much of the Harper attention that comes right now are the rumors of him playing first base. The dude is just 26 years old and is one of the best players in the game. Why is there this weird talk that he won’t be able to play the outfield for the Yanks? It makes no sense. None.

The set baseline for Harper seems to be the 10 years and 300 million dollar mark set by the Nationals. I’m very uncertain as to the validity of this as an actual starting point or if that’s just what the National’s threw out there. It has not seemed at all like Harper intends to stay with the Nationals, so it will be interesting to see where the actual contenders land as far as offers.

Harper will undoubtedly try and get the most years that he can. Will he get ten? The money will certainly be in the $30 million per year range – or higher! I am intrigued by the idea, first pushed here on SSTN, of giving Harper (and/or Manny Machado) a higher annual salary but for fewer years. It is an interesting thought. Harper and Machado are rarities when it comes to the talent and age combo in free agency. In regards to Harper, I wish the Yankees would just sign him already!

I somehow feel that this all might play out like the Stanton trade last year. Right now it seems like a lot of the attention is on Machado. It often seems like some of the biggest Yankee deals all of a sudden come out of the blue. It would not surprise me if in the next few weeks the Yankees announce that they signed Bryce Harper.

I want Harper. I want his fire. I want his passion. I want to see him hitting bombs into the Yankee Stadium short porch for the better part of the next decade. I hope the Yankees feel the same way.

Zach Britton

I’d love to also have Zach Britton back with the Yankees. I don’t know what it will take, because I would have to assume that he would be able to get closer money from someone. Will the Yankees be willing to shell out closer money for another reliever? It was great having Britton on the team even if he was not is usual dominant self. Last year’s sample size was interesting to say the least. Not only was he with the team for a short period of time, but it was on an injury shortened year for Britton. This is a guy who just a year or two ago was one of the most dominant closers in the game. I’m tending to believe in his up-side.

The main thing I wanted to note in regards to Britton is not just that I’d really love to see him back, but that I have not really heard anything on him at all this off-season. Am I the only one who has not heard any rumors on Britton? I understand that this is the off-season of Harper, Machado and Corbin, but it’s been crickets on Britton. I know it’s still early and that I’m just eager for some action, but what’s the deal?

I’m not sure if it’s just the way the off-season is playing out, or if for some reason there is not as much interest across baseball in Britton. I figure that he could get a strong deal in the $12-15mm range per year for probably 3 years or so.

Will the Yankees be willing to give Zach Britton 15mm a year to be their 3rd closer when we have two or three other bullpen spots that need to be filled? I sure hope so.

Andrew Miller

So is Andrew Miller an afterthought at this point? I realize he has had some injury issues since he has been with the Indians and maybe it’s because as a Yankee fan I watched him dominate in pinstripes, but how is everyone sleeping on Andrew Miller? Of the few things I see on him, everyone postures him as a second tier bullpen arm at this point.

One of the things that I am not a fan of with social media is that every twitter and fantasy baseball GM tries to be too smart for their britches sometimes. Maybe I’m just sentimental and old fashion in my approach to the game, but if Andrew Miller is available at any price, I would get him on my team. The dude does not get phased by the moment and he can be outright filthy. During the “No Runs DMC” stretch, I think that Andrew Miller was the best lefty reliever on the team. Yes, on the team that included Aroldis Chapman as the closer!

I haven’t watched Andrew Miller closely the last year or so, but I can’t imagine he has taken that significantly of a drop in performance only being two years removed from dominating with the Yankees. Even if he has, give me 85% of Andrew Miller over most of the other options out there. Since it’s been quiet around him, maybe he can be acquired less expensively.


The Yankees have a chance to significantly add to the team by adding these lefties. I hope they are seriously considering each!


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Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

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