By Michael Wong
The New York Yankees have made it no secret their strong desire to being aboard free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin this winter and those plans have not changed one iota after swinging a massive trade for Seattle Mariners ace James Paxton. What the Yanks may not have fully realized though is the zeal with which the Philadelphia Phillies are going after Corbin which will only serve to help further boost the bank account of the lefty. Flush with spending cash this offseason, the Phils are seemingly in on every prominent name this winter; with the latest being trade talks with the Arizona DIamondbacks for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and holding a meeting with Corbin on Tuesday. Given the stiff competition from the Phils, it is likely the price tag on Corbin has moved into the $100-$120 million range over five years which is much more than what the Yanks planned on spending for a guy with a Tommy John in his history and with a heavy slider reliance. The Yanks are still well in pursuit of Corbin though and will bank on his public statements of being a former fan of the team while growing up to help maybe save some dollars on a deal. If that does not materialize, a Yanks source has said the team would then quickly pivot towards bringing back J.A. Happ. As far as Happ is concerned, the lefty is said to want to return to the team and he is willing to wait out the Corbin sweepstakes in order to see if this is possible. Either way, the Phils and Yanks will likely split the two All-Stars.
-The Seattle Mariners are in full rebuild mode and have the most active trading GM in the business in Jerry DiPoto anxious to move some more names after swapping Paxton to the Yankees. The latest is that they are practically begging teams to take disraceed first baseman Robinson Cano off their hands and are desperate enough to include All-Star closer Edwin Diaz in a deal to sweeten things up. The Diaz inclusion is being meant as a way to not have to eat Cano money and DiPoto has gone so far as to personally call the Yanks, New York Mets, and St. Louis Cardinals to try and get the ball rolling on talks.
-Speaking of the Phils, it is only a matter of time before they bring in either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado or even BOTH; not to mention their talks for Corbin and Goldschmidt. The Phillies are clearly the center of the winter chatter and also are looking to add a lockdown reliever such as Andrew Miller or Craig Kimbrel. As the Phillies go, so will the hot stove season.