Pete Caldera MLB writer
Published 1:23 PM EST Nov 30, 2018
STAMFORD, Conn. – Brian Cashman’s best pitch to Patrick Corbin included dinner, following a tour of Yankee Stadium and its player amenities.
Now, the Yankees anticipate the free-agent lefty’s decision process as several other clubs are also bidding for Corbin’s services.
But the Yanks have other options as well.
“There’s a lot of players of interest to us and a lot of players that can improve us, both in free agency and trades,’’ Cashman said Friday. “So, I wouldn’t designate anybody as a primary.’’
Between practice runs at the Landmark Building, where Cashman will once again rappel down 22 stories as part of Stamford’s “Heights and Lights” holiday fest, the Yankees’ GM offered some insights on his winter wish list.
“There’s a lot of attractive players that are available, for various price points,’’ said Cashman, though he added, “I don’t know if there’s a preference’’ for one need over another.
Having already traded for Seattle lefty James Paxton, “we’re not in a need-to, have-to, desperate situation,’’ Cashman said on the starting pitching front. “We’re in a stronger position’’ because of that deal.
“We need to continue to address the rotation, yes,’’ Cashman said. “But we all know how important the bullpen is in today’s game and we also can’t minimize the loss of Didi (Gregorius, the shortstop recovering from Tommy John surgery) and how that impacts us.’’
Courting Patrick Corbin
Corbin was married two weeks ago, and yes, Cashman saw that Corbin’s brother had donned a Yankees cap to conclude his best-man’s speech.
But the Corbin family’s Yankee affinity wasn’t a point of conversation Thursday, as Jen and Patrick Corbin were shown around Yankee Stadium and taken to dinner by Cashman.
The Corbins had made prior stops this week at the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.
“(We) answered all the questions, shared all the information,’’ Cashman said. “At least, they’re in a better position about the New York Yankees.’’
After posting a 3.15 ERA and making his second NL All-Star team in 2018, with 246 strikeouts in 200 innings with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the 29-year-old Corbin’s price might stretch to six years for over $100 million.
On a personal level, Cashman came away with a good impression of Corbin, having only previously known of him through scouting reports, televised games and Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey, a former Diamondbacks pitching coach who had Corbin on his staff.
As for Corbin’s pinstriped upbringing, raised in upstate New York in a family of Yankees fans (he wore his idol Andy Pettitte’s No. 46 in Arizona), Cashman believes the financials will ultimately carry more weight.
So the move by Corbin’s brother to pull out a Yankees cap at the wedding was viewed by Cashman as a “tongue-in-cheek’’ approach to keep the lefty close to home.
“At the very least, we know we have people rooting for us,’’ Cashman said.
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