Throughout every offseason, the New York Yankees are always connected to the top free agents. And this offseason is no different. The two biggest stars are Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Both players can fit in with the Bronx Bombers with minor adjustments to the roster. The latest rumors circulating throughout the baseball world is that the Yankees are considering Bryce Harper at first base. But is it a good idea to have Bryce on first?
Bryce Harper is a transcendent type of talent. And he can genuinely change the outlook of a franchise. Harper can take a fringe contender and put them over the top and push them into the playoffs. When it comes to the Yankees, however, Bryce Harper is seen as more of a luxury than a necessity. Bryce Harper grew up playing catcher, but upon being drafted by the Washington Nationals, he was moved to the outfield. Where he’s played every game of his career.
$400 Million Question?
Since Bryce has only played the outfield during his Major League career, the idea of signing Bryce and immediately moving him to first base is seen as a significant risk. Bryce Harper’s “super” agent Scott Boras has previously stated that Bryce takes ground balls at first base every offseason. Leading many to believe that he would be willing to move positions for the right team and the right deal. But moving to first base is not the only question that would surround the signing of Harper.
Current Outfielders Projections
The Yankees as currently constructed don’t necessarily have a certainty starting in left field. Presently the Yankees Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Clint Frazier as the leading candidates for that position. Clint Frazier by way of his youth would be the favorite to win the starting spot. But having dealt with concussion issues during the entirety of the 2018 season. It will remain to be seen if Frazier’s concussion issues have subsided.
Many fans and media personnel believe the Yankees will end up with either Bryce or Manny and the Philadelphia Phillies will end up with the other. The idea of signing Bryce Harper is one that can benefit the Yankees more than the signing of Manny Machado in my opinion. The Yankees have a solid infield and even with Didi being out for a majority of the season, signing Machado brings in another right-handed bat that would displace Didi or Miguel Andujar. While the signing of Bryce Harper brings in a lefty bat that lengthens the lineup and does not move anyone with a permanent position, and upon the return of Didi, it allows the Bronx Bomber to have an even more balanced attack against their opponents.
Thoughts and Projection
Fans are divided on many aspects of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Some think that the Yankees will be benefitted by signing both players. Others don’t want either. Some want Manny, and some want Bryce. At the end of the day, it all depends on the dollars. The Yankees have publicly denied having interest in Bryce. But for many, it reminds them of the 2008 offseason when the Yankees were not “in” on Mark Teixeira because they had Nick Swisher in the fold.
If the Yankees make a move on Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado, it will signal what we already know the Yankees are “ALL IN.” The idea of Bryce as a first baseman is one that intrigues me. Bryce again is a phenomenal talent and can elevate a franchise. And for a team looking to win the World Series and recreate a dynasty, Bryce could be that final piece.