Another day, and this time two potential Yankees rotation pieces came off the board.
On Tuesday, Patrick Corbin, a Yankees fan while growing up in upstate New York, agreed to a six-year, $140-million deal with the Nationals.
On Thursday came the news that there would be no reunion with Red Sox postseason hero Nathan Eovaldi, who agreed to a four-year, $68-million deal with Boston. Later in the day, the Indians exercised Carlos Carrasco’s $10.25-million option for 2020 and signed him to a two-year extension, according to The Athletic. There is a club option for 2023, according to The Associated Press.
Carrasco was among the front-line starters for whom the Indians are listening to offers — an impressive group that includes Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been in touch with Cleveland since last month’s GM meetings in Carlsbad, California. At the moment, the price tags are prohibitive.
A source said the Yankees never got to the point of making an offer to Corbin or Eovaldi, who were free agents.
They did have some interest in Eovaldi, who pitched for them in 2015 and 2016. The righthander went 23-11 for them but had a 4.45 ERA, allowing 298 hits in 279 innings. His 2016 season ended when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery — Eovaldi was 9-8 with a 4.76 ERA at the time — and he was designated for assignment that November.
Eovaldi didn’t return until May 30 of this past season with the Rays, who traded him to the Red Sox at the non-waiver deadline in July.
Eovaldi routinely throws in the high 90s, consistently hits 100 mph and has developed a nasty cutter. He went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with the Red Sox before really turning it on in the postseason, starring in the rotation and out of the bullpen. In six games (two starts) for Boston, Eovaldi was 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA.
“He was great to work with, always willing to make adjustments and try different things,” longtime Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said in a phone interview during the World Series.
“He had great arm strength, obviously, but just the type of person he is I think sticks out. Most people that are around him would say the same thing. He’s always positive. I don’t know if he ever has a bad day. A lot of fun to be around and was a really good teammate for everybody.”
Cashman brought back CC Sabathia this offseason and traded for Mariners lefthander James Paxton. He very much desires to add one more starter and still has plenty of options.
Cashman has been engaged with the agent of lefthander J.A. Happ, a trade-deadline acquisition from Toronto, since the GM meetings in early November. Although Happ, 36, pitched poorly in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Red Sox, he went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts with the Yankees.
Free agents such as Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton, Lance Lynn and Wade Miley, among those available on the market, are possibilities.
With the winter meetings looming in Las Vegas next week, Cashman also is looking for bullpen depth. He would like to add infield insurance because shortstop Didi Gregorius is expected to miss at least the first two months of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Cashman has remained in contact with the agent for infielder Manny Machado. As for the other top free agent, Bryce Harper, it is believed that there remains little to zero interest from the Yankees, with no meetings having taken place or scheduled with the outfielder.