What If The Yankees Don’t Sign Bryce Harper?

So far this offseason the Yankees have been wrapped up in just about every big name, so where will the club go if they aren’t able to land Bryce Harper?

This offseason many have speculated that it’s more likely that the Yankees sign Bryce Harper than Manny Machado based on their team needs, but what if speculation proves wrong and the Yankees sign Machado instead, or *gasp* don’t break the bank to sign either?

Let’s take a look at the possible left field options:

Giancarlo Stanton

Many forget that Giancarlo Stanton started his career as a corner outfielder for the Marlins. Did you know that as recently as 2017, Stanton was an everyday outfielder?

Seriously though, if the Yankees simply go with Stanton and Judge at the corners with Hicks in center, their outfield will be one of the best in the league. The “problem” of filling every spot in the lineup with a solid player then shifts to DH. Harper and Machado are the two best hitters on the market, but we’re assuming this shift is happening because either they’re not available or the Yankees signed Machado.

With Stanton moving to left field, the Yankees could choose to mix and match at DH with current players, like Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Clint Frazier, and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Clint Frazier

Big red was very good in 2017 when he was on the field. He flashed an elite ability to barrel up the ball. Frazier’s 2018, however, was derailed by injuries. He never really got going in a year when the Yankees really needed him to step up.

Now, it’s uncertain whether the Yankees will trade him, send him to the minors again, or give him a shot to start. If the Yankees do give him a shot, it will be an enormous risk by the team given his injury history and his lack of experience.

In 2018, the Yankees did end up giving major time to rookies Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres, but they were not on the opening day roster as starters. Still, Frazier is one of the options if the Yankees fail to sign Harper.

Jacoby Ellsbury

There’s been wide speculation recently that the Yankees may trade Ellsbury to the Mariners for Robinson Cano. With only two years left on his albatross of a contract, it’s way more likely the Yankees hope Ellsbury has gotten past his injury woes than it is that they trade him for a PED user with an even bigger contract.

Also, it’s unlikely Ellsbury would waive his no-trade clause.

Brett Gardner

Old reliable lost a bit of his flare in 2018, his worst year in the big leagues. It was never the Yankees intention that Gardy plays every day, however, injuries forced him to play more innings and face more left-handed pitching than he should have. Could we see a repeat in 2019?

It’s certainly possible, especially if the Yankees don’t sign Bryce Harper.

Andrew McCutchen

The former MVP acquitted himself well in New York where he settled in at the top of the lineup in 2018 after being traded at the deadline from San Francisco.

Cutch is certainly going to come at a reduced rate and would be a bargain if he continues to get on base in 2019 as frequently as he did in 2018. The Yankees could do worse.

Just Sign Bryce

The problem with all of these scenarios is that they require thinking that the Yankees will choose not to upgrade their bats in an offseason where there are two top-tier talents available. It just seems so anti-Yankee.

That, and the fact that without Didi Gregorius, the only lefties in the Yankee lineup will be Hicks, Gardy, and Greg Bird, make it seem like the Bryce is Right for the Yankees.

Only time will tell.

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