Cashman was asked by reporters at the winter meetings about the possibility of making the 2015 NL MVP and young baseball phenom a Yankee. He shut that down in just a few words.
"No time at all all winter have I said I'm looking for an outfielder," Cashman said, via Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. "The Harper stuff ... I'm surprised you're still asking."
Harper rejected a $300 million contract from the Washington Nationals, and he's been heavily linked to the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox in free agency.
The Nationals essentially confirmed that they're prepared to move on from Harper, who is expected to land the richest contract in MLB history - which will likely be at least $350 million.
New York is already loaded in the outfield with sluggers and 50-home run hitters in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, along with Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. Signing Harper for well over $300 million doesn't make a lot of sense for Cashman, who's been more focused on upgrading his rotation.
The Yankees acquired Canadian lefty James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners earlier this offseason, and the team is reportedly working on a deal to get Noah Syndergaard from the New York Mets. So yes, it seems like he has very little desire to pursue Harper - especially for the crazy amount of money he's asking for.
Harper, 26, batted .249 in 2018 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI.
What This Means
The Yankees are prioritizing other needs right now, including a better rotation that was dominated by the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Cashman knows he has more than enough star power in the outfield, so it would be absolutely ludicrous to add another at a $350 million-plus price tag.
At this point, the Phillies are still the favorites to land Harper. Other contenders may emerge, but there's no way he winds up in The Bronx. Cashman is wisely staying away from Harper's outrageous price tag.