The New York Yankees are reportedly focusing their attention on free-agent starting pitcher Patrick Corbin.
Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, several MLB executives believe it will take a six-year deal worth at least $125 million to sign Corbin.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he'd aim to improve the starting rotation after New York fell short of the AL East crown and lost to the rival Boston Red Sox in the playoffs last season. He took a significant step toward doing that by acquiring lefty James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners in a trade that sent pitching prospect Justus Sheffield to the Pacific Northwest.
New York boasts a starting rotation that includes Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia.
Sonny Gray is also in the mix, but Cashman has been open about his desire to trade him because of his struggles at Yankee Stadium.
Assuming that happens, Corbin would be an ideal fit in New York.
The 29-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him go 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Corbin was named an All-Star for the second time, and he finished fifth in the National League Cy Young voting.
The Yankees would also have perfect rotational balance if they sign Corbin, since he and Paxton are lefties, while Severino and Tanaka are right-handed. Additionally, Corbin grew up in Clay, New York, near Syracuse, and he said in April that he was a childhood a Yankees fan.
Although Corbin is the clear top choice, the Bronx Bombers also have some capable fallback options should they lose the Corbin sweepstakes.
Eovaldi, Happ and Lynn are all former Yankees and are aware of the pressures that come with playing in the Big Apple.
While Eovaldi struggled at times during his two-year stint with the Yanks in 2015 and 2016, he came into his own after the Tampa Bay Rays traded him to the Red Sox last season. Eovaldi went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 regular-season appearances (11 starts) with Boston before he posted a 1.61 ERA in 22.1 playoff innings en route a World Series title.
The Yankees acquired both Happ and Lynn in pre-deadline trades last season.
The 36-year-old Happ was a stud in New York, going 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts; however, he gave up five earned runs in two innings during an American League Division Series start against the Red Sox.
Lynn pitched as both a starter and reliever for the Yanks, and in 11 appearances (nine starts) he went 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA.
Corbin would perhaps give the Yankees one of the league's best starting rotations, but with Paxton, they figure to be far better in that area in 2019 than they were last season regardless.