Cashman talks pursuit of 'special talent' Corbin

December 4th, 2018

NEW YORK -- While the Yankees wait to learn if thought enough of last week's guided Yankee Stadium tour to choose pinstripes for the next phase of his career, general manager Brian Cashman is confident that entertaining the left-hander was worth the effort.
Appearing on an installment of the YES Network's "Hot Stove" program that aired on Monday evening, Cashman told Jack Curry that the 29-year-old checks numerous boxes on the team's wish list, rattling off his strikeout rate, ground-ball rate and general competitiveness as qualities that would make Corbin an attractive fit in New York.
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"He had a really successful campaign this year and some of our personnel know him very well," Cashman said. "He's done his job by making himself a legitimate consideration for any Major League team that is willing to step up and try to secure his services. We're doing everything in our power to put ourselves in position to be a legitimate consideration."
Last week, Corbin and agent John Courtright also visited with representatives from the Phillies and Nationals, with all three teams believed to still be under consideration. Last Thursday, Corbin and his wife, Jen, visited the Stadium and spoke with a group that included manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen coach Mike Harkey. In 2015, Harkey was Corbin's pitching coach with Arizona.

A more significant draw could be Corbin's affection for the team. A product of upstate Cicero, Corbin idolized Andy Pettitte and has said that he comes from a long line of Yankees fans. At Corbin's recent wedding, his younger brother, Kevin, wrapped the best-man speech by donning a Yankees cap and saying that he hoped the newlyweds would soon move closer to home, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
"It's nice to hear people speak fondly of your franchise," Cashman said. "But the thing I respond most to is players' performance and how our scouts and analytics assess that performance. Clearly, he's a tremendous Major League Baseball pitcher. That's why we're willing to go through the motions and see where it leads us and them.
"He's a special talent. He's had a lot of success in the National League West. He had a chance to see us up close and personal. No guarantees of what the future is going to hold for anybody; there's a lot of choices out there, but he's certainly a quality choice that exists in the marketplace."
The Yankees' scoreboard crew did their part to assist, digitally rendering Corbin in pinstripes on the large center-field video screen.
Corbin was 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA in 33 starts for the D-backs this past season, recording 246 strikeouts against 48 walks in 200 innings. Corbin's 1.79 ratio of ground balls to fly balls ranked third in the Majors, behind the Astros' (2.20) and the Phillies' (1.80).

As Cashman seeks to add another starting pitcher following last month's acquisition of left-hander from the Mariners, J.A. Happ is also on the radar, surely offering a more cost-effective option. It has been speculated that Corbin's eventual contract could be similar to the six-year, $126 million pact that recently received from the Cubs.
Cashman also hopes to stabilize the bullpen, with Zach Britton and currently free agents, and address the middle infield in the wake of Didi Gregorius' injury. Cashman reiterated that he has no interest in trading catcher and confirmed that he has spoken with Dan Lozano, the representative for superstar infielder Manny Machado.
Though securing pitching remains his priority, Cashman said that the middle infield is an "important heavy-lifting area" because Gregorius will be out until at least June -- and potentially August -- while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Whether that hole is plugged by Machado or a lesser star remains to be seen.
"All I know is, it's all going to be connected and everything we do certainly adds to the payroll," Cashman said. "The most important thing is what's going to add to this group of talented players that we have. We're trying to build a team. With every step, there's a domino effect, whether it's financial or roster-wise. Hopefully, whatever happens when the dust settles, we'll be better for all the effort."