Yankees not even trying for Bryce Harper is maddening
Here are some players the New York Yankees signed, traded for, or extended the year Harper was available:
- D.J. LeMahieu
- Aaron Hicks
- Luis Severino
- Mike Tauchman
- Zack Britton
- Adam Ottavino
- Troy Tulowitzki
- James Paxton
Sure, that works, yeah? Not really. It's a mild mix of players compared to the alternative of signing Harper.
Since that season, the Yankees have not made it past the ALCS and have left fans disappointed year after year. Meanwhile, Harper could very well lead the Phillies to their second-straight World Series appearance.
New York has misfired repeatedly in the post-George Steinbrenner era, but none sticks out as a bigger shoulda woulda coulda than not signing Bryce Harper. The Yankees, having spent lavishly by trading for Giancarlo Stanton in the trade market, didn't punch in the high weight class for the following offseason's free agency. Surely, with the league's deepest pockets, the Yankees could have chased Harper if they truly wanted to, but they opted not to.
If we're comparing Stanton to Harper -- which doesn't feel entirely fair -- fans would prefer to have Harper, no question. Stanton has had hot streaks, but has dealt with slumps, injuries, and overall has been less a contributor to winning playoff baseball than Harper has been since signing with Philadelphia.
The Yankees have perhaps the highest expectations placed on them, and not signing Harper is a loss. It only makes it worse that they didn't really even try. Playing to win on the field begins with playing to win in free agency.
Frankly, Harper's locks, which would surely break New York's appearance rules, are way too good for New York, anyway.