Mancuso: Winter Meetings Day 3

Las Vegas-  Brian Cashman said late Wednesday that the Yankees were a “fully operational Death Star.” Take that as the Yankees still looking for bullpen reinforcements and possibly a middle infielder.

And so it goes during Day 3 at the Winter Meetings . The Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino is a who’s who of baseball personnel. The GM’s, Cashman and the Mets’ Brodie Van Wagenen are behind closed doors and speculation is who will strike first?

Death Star for the Yankees? Cashman was alluding to a quest for Bruce Harper is not out of the question. The big news was the Yankees coming to some type of deal with J.A. Happ that would keep the left hander in the Bronx.

Sources say the deal would be two years for Happ with a third year option. All along, it was assumed Happ would return to the Yankees and pending a physical the contract will be finalized during the Thursday finale of this annual Winter Meetings event.

Harper is no way a done deal. Though there are reports that Scott Boras, the “Pope” of baseball player agents is keeping that communication going to strike a deal for his client to be a part of the Yankees crowded outfield.

How much and is it possible? Again, speculation and if you ask this observer, Harper will not be a part of the Yankees outfield in 2019. And with the Yankees needs to fill some gaps, bullpen and that infielder, money needs to be placed in other areas.

But, as we have all come to now, and as Cashman said, this is a fully operational death star. 

“The Yankees are very adept,” Boras said. “They’re smart. I think they can earnestly tell you that right now they’re not doing it and have every intention of doing something else when it’s best for them to do it.”

Best to do it, and when the timing is right, perhaps to obtain Bryce Harper. Remember last December at the meetings in Orlando? One minute Giancarlo Stanton was off the radar and then he was presented with Yankees pinstripes in a deal with the Derek Jeter Marlins.

However, Brian Cashman always has a plan. And if it is not Bryce Harper, there will be someone else and another day to do it. The need for two starters began last week with the acquisition of James Paxton and Happ looks like he is on the way to fill that gap.

Credit: sportsdaywire  

A high ranking National League executive, and a veteran of these meetings said about the talk and lack of trades, “It’e become that analytical world of do I, or do I not. Not as easy to make a trade.”

That same executive was working the phones and inquiring about the market for a left hander starter that could come at a reasonable price. Same comment, “Analytics won’t get him for what we are looking for.”

And in the case of the Yankees, it’s that desire to do it. Recall Tuesday, manager Aaron Boone said the Red Sox were monsters this year. So the Yankees are hoping to be the better monsters and believe that this fully operational Death Star is far from done.

And the latest buzz about the Mets? Talk and more talk. Juan Lagares had his name floating around the rumor circle and as of Wednesday night he had no worries about relocating.

The Mets met with agents of Adam Jones. No offer was made and from sources it was just a greet and meet type of thing. Jones, the veteran, could be that right-handed bat and outfielder the Mets are seeking.

Jones is not Bryce Harper. This is Brodie Van Wagenen, again the creative and new GM of the Mets who is causing that continued buzz at the Winter Meetings. 

According to a source, and we have many here, that three-team trade with the Mets. Marlins, and Yankees, with Noah Syndergaard going to the Yankees is all about dead in the Mets quest to obtain J.T. Realmuto.

Then again, it was never serious was it? The options for the Mets are acquiring a catcher at these meetings. While Realmuto, considered the prime player at the position is highly touted, the Mets may have come to their senses in not dealing Syndergaard.

The attention, as various reports say,  is with the Mets looking at other options. Amed Rosario could be part of a deal, meaning Realmuto could still be obtained with the right package other than Noah Syndergaard and the Yankees involved.

Brodie Van Wagenen said, “I don’t think we have to wait for a catching decision to impact any of the other moves that we would make.”

Though, the prevailing question is what are the other moves the Mets will make if there are any?  

So the score after Day 3,  1-0 Yankees over the Mets. Stay tuned because this could be extra innings for the Thursday finale. 

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso




About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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