Brian Cashman says Yankees are out on Bryce Harper and focused on Manny Machado

LAS VEGAS — In a town built on temptation and designed to make it hard to resist spending your money recklessly, Brian Cashman is remaining disciplined. The Yankees GM went into the offseason with a carefully planned list of needs: two starting pitchers, an infielder to help ease the loss of Didi Gregorius and bullpen help.

Monday, he was sticking to his plan: Manny Machado fits into that list. This winter’s other top free agent, Bryce Harper, does not.

“The Harper stuff….I am surprised you are still asking,” Cashman said when asked about reports that the Yankees would meet with the 25-year-old slugger. While he did not actually deny the reports that the Yankees are among the teams that would take advantage of the meeting being in Las Vegas, Harper’s hometown, to meet with the player, he maintained that adding another outfielder is not in his plans.

On the first day of the annual Winter Meetings at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Cashman was as clear as he has been all offseason that the Yankees will not be pursuing Harper. Cashman rattled off the six outfielders he currently has on the roster and reiterated that having Harper play first base was not an option they were comfortable with.

“You want to think about something that fits more….I try to make sure to follow what I say. We’re looking for a starter now, it was two but now we’re down to one,” Cashman said, referring to acquiring James Paxton in a trade. “We’re looking for how do we address the loss of Didi and looking at our (bullpen). At no time all winter have I said I am looking for an outfielder.”

While Machado is a superstar who will be the cornerstone of any lineup he lands in next season, Cashman sees how the shortstop/third baseman specifically fits into the Yankees offseason plans.

See the players up for grabs this offseason: 

9 PHOTOS
Remaining MLB free agents: 2018-19
See Gallery
Remaining MLB free agents: 2018-19

RP Craig Kimbrel

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

SP Dallas Keuchel

(Photo by Loren Elliott/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

C Kurt Suzuki

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

C Martin Maldonado

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

SS Jose Iglesias

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LF Marwin Gonzalez

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LF Denard Span

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

CF Adam Jones

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

SP Bartolo Colon

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Machado has made clear his desire to play shortstop, though he’d likely be more flexible on that with a mega-deal from the Yankees. With Gregorius expected to be out until at least next June after having Tommy John surgery in October, Cashman needs a shortstop — at least to start the season.

He admitted he talked with Machado’s agent Dan Lozano before coming to the Winter Meetings.

“I’m not going to deny we’ve had a conversation or two,” Cashman said.

It will likely take several conversations before Machado’s future is determined.

Machado’s comment that he’s “not the type of player that's going to be Johnny Hustle” after he jogged out a ground ball while playing for the Dodgers during the National League Championship Series, rubbed Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner the wrong way.

“If it's a $300 million guy or a $10 million, clearly those comments are troubling," Steinbrenner said last month at the MLB owners meetings. "But that's really (Cashman's) job. If we're interested in any player, sit down with him face-to-face and ask him, 'Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to (make)? How do you justify it?'

"Because that ain't gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is."

But obviously those comments have not dissuaded the Yankees from pursuing the four-time All-Star.

Cashman said last month it wasn’t uncommon for him to meet with potential free agents to assess how they would handle the unique situation of playing for the Yankees. This week, however, Cashman was more general.

“I wouldn’t forecast anything in terms of that, but I would say, I have had several conversations with Dan Lozano about Manny Machado,” Cashman said. “We’re definitely focused in the marketplace in those areas of need. He’s available and solves that area of need for us.”

23 PHOTOS
Manny Machado through his career
See Gallery
Manny Machado through his career
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 09: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles slides into home plate to score his first career run in the fifth inning of his major league debut against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 9, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 09: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles warms up before his major league debut against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 9, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 10: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles cleans up after getting a shaving cream pie after a 7-1 victory against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Machado hit the first two home runs of his career in the game. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles in action against the New York Yankees during Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 10, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Orioles 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 21: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles watches the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 21, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 12: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles plays third base during the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 12, 2013 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 10: Third baseman Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 10, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 9: Third baseman Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles against the Texas Rangers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Texas Rangers won, 8-4. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 02: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles looks on against the Minnesota Twins on May 2, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Orioles defeated the Twins 3-0. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
June 11 2014: Third baseman Manny Machado (13) of the Baltimore Orioles swings and misses during a MLB game against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 9, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Orioles defeated the Yankees 6-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 21, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Orioles 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Oct 1, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) rounds the bases on his solo home run during the third inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6), first baseman Chris Davis (19) and third baseman Manny Machado (13) celebrate their win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) reaches for a base hit in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado (13) is congratulated by teammates after scoring in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) hits a two-run single in the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) reacts in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) catches a line drive to record the final out to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-2 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) is congratulated by outfielder Adam Jones (10) after hitting a game tying two run home run in the 7th inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) watches his game tying two run home run in the 7th inning against the New York Yankees enter the stands at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) looks on after striking out with runners in scoring position during a MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 31, 2018 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers singles in the eighth inning during Game 4 of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, October 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

While reports are that the Yankees are unwilling to go as high as $300 million, a mark that Machado’s side is looking for, Cashman would only say they are evaluating their needs and how that affects other areas down the line.

But he also said that while he is trying to be more disciplined with the way they build their roster, they are still the Yankees and capable of pulling off blockbuster deals.

“At the same time, we’re operating with really high payroll, we imported a player in (Giancarlo) Stanton with a big contract. We’re still capable of doing big things, but I just think we are more careful about how we go about our business,” Cashman said. “For good reason, it’s not like we’re going to be perfect, but I think our fan base likes the product they’ve been seeing the last few years.

“I think they know we’re capable of special things.”

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.