New York Yankees rumors: Kyle Schwarber, J.A. Happ, Gerrit Cole the fine wine guy

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, J.A. Happ
Jul 29, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pauses before pitching against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are no spring chicken when it comes to impressing during free agency negotiations, even if they fully don’t want the player in question. Last season, it was Patrick Corbin, who the Yankees let slip through the cracks. Whether it was a planned scenario that circled back to Gerrit Cole this offseason or not, they got their guy on a nine-year, $324 million deal.

However, one of the small details that swung the advantage towards the Bombers was manager Aaron Boone’s sly trick — bring a bottle of fine wine. Cole and his father are both heavily invested in the delicacy of wine, something the Yankees exploited during their meeting. This reportedly was a significant part of Cole’s decision to come to the Bronx.

Here are the latest New York Yankees rumors of the day:

Kyle Schwarber: The Yankees are in dire need of a lefty bat to fit their batting order after the loss of Didi Gregorius in free agency. With Aaron Hicks recovering from Tommy John surgery and the only other lefties being Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, and Brett Gardner, it’s fair to assume GM Brian Cashman is exploring other options. One target is Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, who fits the Yankees mold perfectly, despite his defensive issues in the past. Last season, he hit .250/.339/.531 with 38 homers and 29 doubles in 155 games. The most significant part of that statistical SKU is his home run total (38). Replacing Edwin Encarnacion with a high-profile slugger will not only supplement his loss but also add a lefty to the mix.

Ken RosenthalInteresting talks, unlikely deals: What #Padres’ discussions for Lindor and #Yankees’ conversations about Schwarber really mean.

J.A. Happ: The Yankees are still looking for ways to unload Happ in the next few weeks. His numbers make trading him a problematic matter, considering his 4.91 ERA in 2019. He will count $17 million next season, hindering the Yankees’ ability to go out and make other deals. The primary reason Happ was on the cut list was due to Cole, who’s now eating up $36 million in salary, putting the Bombers well over the luxury tax threshold. Happ is the projected #5 starter but can easily be replaced by Jordan Montgomery/Michael King. I would expect Cashman to find a home for him soon.

Jack CurryI didn’t include Happ as part of rotation because I think Yanks will likely move him.