Bryce Harper Rumors: Yankees Not in Pursuit of Star OF in Free Agency

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 3, 2018

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper stands on the field during a baseball game against the New York Mets, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Washington. The Mets won 4-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Bryce Harper can cross the New York Yankees off his list of potential free-agent suitors this offseason.

Per MLB Network Radio's Steve Phillips, the Yankees "will not be in on Harper," as their top priorities are expected to be Manny Machado and starting pitching.

It seemed like Harper wouldn't be a priority for the Yankees when they re-signed Brett Gardner to a one-year deal Wednesday.

Retaining Gardner gave New York an outfield surplus that includes Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks. The team also has Jacoby Ellsbury, who missed all of last season because of a hip injury, under contract through 2020, and the 24-year-old Clint Frazier.

With Didi Gregorius out for an undetermined amount of time following Tommy John surgery in October, the Yankees could be in the market for an infielder capable of playing shortstop or—if Gleyber Torres moves to the left side of the infield—second base.

New York, which could lose starters CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ in free agency, has also been heavily connected to Patrick Corbin. The southpaw was an All-Star in 2018 and posted a 3.15 ERA with 246 strikeouts in 200 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A free agent for the first time in his career, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 homers and a career-high 100 RBI for the Washington Nationals in 2018.