The New York Yankees’ free agent wish list is dwindling.
First, Patrick Corbin reportedly agreed to a six-year, $140 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Then, Nathan Eovaldi reportedly agreed to a four-year, $67.5 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees were believed to be interested in both starting pitchers, with Eovaldi reportedly representing a backup plan once New York failed to sign Corbin, but each pursuit seemingly fell apart for the same reason: the number of years the Bronx Bombers were willing to offer.
The Yankees reportedly offered a five-year deal to Corbin before he agreed to a six-year deal with the Nationals, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Thursday after Eovaldi reportedly agreed to a four-year pact with Boston that New York was unwilling to offer the right-hander more than three years.
Perhaps another year from the Yankees wouldn’t have made a difference, anyway. Eovaldi said earlier this offseason he’d love to return to Boston, and the interest obviously was mutual, with Red Sox president of baseball operations making that clear even before Thursday’s news. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman also wrote Tuesday that the Yankees appeared “hesitant” to offer a four-year contract to Eovaldi, who made 51 appearances (48 starts) in pinstripes in 2015 and 2016.
It’s still interesting to see the Yankees exercise such caution on the open market, though, as they’ve long been known for their deep pockets and willingness to spare no expense in pursuit of a World Series title. The Yankees already acquired starter James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners this season, but they still could use rotation reinforcements, and either Corbin or Eovaldi would have satisfied that need.
According to Heyman, the Yankees’ focus now shifts to J.A. Happ, who went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts with New York in 2018 after coming over in a trade from the Toronto Blue Jays. The left-hander went 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA overall this past season in 31 starts split between Toronto and New York.