Is Bryce Harper in the Yankees Offseason Plans?
The New York Yankees are not expected to pursue free agent outfielder Bryce Harper this off-season. According to a report from SNY, Harper is not in the Bombers off-season plans.
The SNY report did however offer a hint that New York ownership could step in and mandate a Harper signing, after watching the Red Sox win another championship. Pending free agent shortstop Manny Machado is also expected to be monitored by the Yanks but the Bombers are not expected to pursue him aggressively.
The Yankees just wrapped up their pro scouting meetings where they set their primary off-season goals. One would imagine the meeting established that pitching was a major need for New York. Harper most definitely came up during the meeting, but does he fit on the Yankee roster?
Harper’s swing is built for Yankee Stadium. He could easily take advantage of the friendly dimensions, especially as a lefty. Harper would also break up a heavy right handed hitting Yankees lineup. He would do damage in the middle of the Yankee order, but it is hard to envision where he would play.
The Bombers outfield spots are all occupied by the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, among others. The DH position is also filled. Brett Gardner was re-signed just days ago, giving the Yankees a multitude of options to work with in the outfield.
Harper is coming off a down year for his standards, hitting just .249, but still managing to hit 34 long balls and drive in 100 runs. His presence in the Yankee lineup would make an already scary lineup, terrifying. But the Bombers have glaring needs to fill in the starting rotation and in the bullpen that must be addressed before approaching a big fish like Harper.
Rumors have been swirling around Harper and the Yankees since his MVP season in 2015. Despite all the talk, it seems like the 26-year old and four time All-Star will not be pursued by New York this off-season.
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