Yankees will not pursue Bryce Harper


LAS VEGAS — For years, this epic free-agent class has permitted a fantasy scenario in which Bryce Harper and Manny Machado landed in pinstripes. In reality, Brian Cashman said that there is not room for both mega-stars, and New York has made its selection.

While the Yankees continue to speak with Machado’s representative, Dan Lozano, Cashman indicated on Monday that the club is bowing out of the Harper sweepstakes.

LAS VEGAS — For years, this epic free-agent class has permitted a fantasy scenario in which Bryce Harper and Manny Machado landed in pinstripes. In reality, Brian Cashman said that there is not room for both mega-stars, and New York has made its selection.

While the Yankees continue to speak with Machado’s representative, Dan Lozano, Cashman indicated on Monday that the club is bowing out of the Harper sweepstakes.

“We don’t have an [infinite] amount of dollars to be playing with in any marketplace,” Cashman said. “We’re looking for a starter now; it was two, now it’s down to one. We’re looking for, how do we address the loss of [shortstop] Didi Gregorius? And we’re looking for our bullpen. At no time all winter have I said that I’m looking for an outfielder. The Harper stuff, I’m surprised you’re still asking.”

Asked specifically about Harper, Cashman rattled off the names of six outfielders currently on the club’s roster (Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton), then indicated that the Yankees do not believe that playing Harper at first base would be a workable option. New York is prepared to enter 2019 with Luke Voit as the starter at first base and Greg Bird as a backup.

“We covered this earlier in the wintertime,” Cashman said. “People asked about the [Harper at] first-base stuff. I’m sure it’s potentially a possibility, but it’s not something that we would play on at that level, to pay that money to play somebody like that at first base.”

Machado answers an area of need for the Yankees, with Gregorius expected to be sidelined until at least June and potentially through August after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. At present, the Yankees’ in-house option would be to shift Gleyber Torres from second base to shortstop.

Cashman said that he spoke to Lozano prior to arriving at the Winter Meetings on Sunday, and would not say if the two planned to meet while in Las Vegas.

“I’ve had several conversations with Dan Lozano about Manny Machado,” Cashman said. “We are definitely focused in the marketplace on those areas of need. [Machado] obviously is available and solves that area of need. I’m not going to deny we’ve had a conversation or two.”

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.





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