The Yankees are expected to target star lefthanded starting pitcher Patrick Corbin as a free agent this winter, sources said.
Their own free agent J.A. Happ could be a consideration, as well, and longtime Yankees star CC Sabathia hasn’t necessarily been ruled out, either.
Yankees people say they haven’t met yet to discuss the winter, but Corbin’s been an expected target for a while.
Corbin may well top their list of pitchers, as they attempt to improve a rotation that was a bit inconsistent in 2018, and it’s no wonder why he appeals to them; he’s lefthanded (as are Happ and Sabathia, their own free agent pitchers), he’s a strikeout pitcher (246, third most in the NL) and he’s improved the past couple years with greater use of his excellent slider plus he’s only 29, which makes him a half-decade or more younger than Happ or certainly Sabathia.
Corbin also didn’t hurt his case when he said out loud how much he and his entire family love the Yankees. He grew up in upstate, New York, in the Syracuse area, which doesn’t hurt, either.
The Diamondbacks may not have loved this interview Corbin did with Bob Nightengale of USA Today, but of course the Yankees noticed it, and loved it. They always have concerns about which players could handle New York, and they surely took that as a sign he could (though that is hard to know until someone plays there).
The Diamondbacks will extend Corbin the $17.9 million qualifying offer, which attaches a draft choice to his signing, though it is no longer be a No. 1 pick that is lost. There is almost no chance he’d accept that one-year offer, as he should easily get a deal of four years or longer as a free agent.
The Diamondbacks may retool this year, as outfield star A.J. Pollock also is a free agent.
Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and FancredSports.com. You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.