Aaron Boone hints Manny Machado’s antics wouldn’t turn off Yankees
About this time a year ago, Shohei Ohtani informed the Yankees he didn’t want to play in The Bronx, so they acquired Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins.
On his way to a sensational season as both a pitcher and outfielder, Ohtani suffered an elbow injury that limited him to 10 starts and 104 games overall and required Tommy John surgery. Stanton hit 38 homers, drove in 100 runs and posted an .852 OPS in 158 games.
Now, Patrick Corbin has followed Ohtani’s path. Immediately after the Yankees were eliminated from the ALDS by the Red Sox in four games, Corbin was installed as the favorite to sign with the Yankees as a free agent because they were looking to bring CC Sabathia back (they did) and add two more starters. They got one by acquiring James Paxton from the Mariners.
Well, the favorite doesn’t always win and the Yankees watched Corbin, 29, waltz to the Nationals for a six-year, $140 million deal. That topped the Yankees’ offer by a dozen months and $40 million.
So, did Corbin do the Yankees a favor by rejecting their offer?
While the Yankees are still searching for another starter and two relievers, Corbin’s rejection could move the Yankees to become more interested in free-agent infielder Manny Machado, whose admittance of not being “Johnny Hustle’’ hasn’t turned off Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman or Aaron Boone completely.
“You hope all players all the time run things out, play hard or give it their all, but [it’s] not necessarily the No. 1 thing I look at when I am defining whether a player is giving his all or is a gamer or posting [playing every day] and being a guy who grinds when it’s difficult behind the scenes,’’ Boone said Wednesday on ESPN radio’s “The Michael Kay Show.”
“I think that is more indicative of who a guy is and kind of how he plays. That said, there is an expectation that we have and hopefully as a professional that there is a certain way you go about things, and running balls out can certainly play into that. Frankly, it is a little bit down the list as far as what I define what makes a player. My definition of a player who plays hard, who plays through adversity and is tough and brings things behind the scenes and has the ability to post when it is not easy. Those are things that define playing hard a little more to me.’’
Bryce Harper and Machado are expected to haul in $300 million or more each this offseason, so it’s not a lock the Yankees sign the 26-year-old Machado, who hit a combined .297 with 37 homers, 107 RBIs and a .905 OPS in 162 games for the Orioles and Dodgers, before hitting .182 with no homers, three RBIs and a .390 OPS in five World Series games.
Corbin might have been the best free-agent starter on the market despite a 56-54 career record for the Diamondbacks and with one Tommy John surgery on his medical chart, but he’s not the only one.
Replacing Corbin in the favorite role to join the Yankees’ rotation is J.A. Happ, whose track record in the AL East is solid. And don’t count out the Yankees swinging a deal for one of the Indians’ starters (Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco). Dallas Keuchel and Nathan Eovaldi join Happ in the free-agent class.
Happ, 36, went a combined 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 31 starts for the Blue Jays and Yankees. He was 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts for the Yankees. Industry voices believe Happ can land a three-year deal in the $48 million range.
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