"You know you want me."
Since 2000 there have only been ten times in which a player has finished the season with an OPS+ of 190 or higher, and four of those times were by the same player (his name rhymes with "Hairy Ponds"). Bryce Harper not only had an OPS+ of 198 in 2015, but he did that at just 22 years old.
Do you know what I was doing at age 22?
Neither do I, to be honest. But I guaran-damn-tee you it wasn't nearly as impressive as what Harper did.
You might want me to bring up what Bryce did last season. Okay... he had an OPS+ of 116. Not bad, but not nearly as incredible as his previous season. On that note, you may point out his OPS+ of 111 in 2014. But let me remind you of something...
He's only 24!
However, I couldn't help but think... What if the Yankees don't have to spend upwards of $500 million on the guy?
Aaron Judge may be a MLB mainstay starting this season. Clint Frazier looks to be a future star, who could debut as soon as this season. Blake Rutherford is ranked as the 37th best prospect in baseball by MLB.com. Dustin Fowler is getting a bit of love from various prospect experts. And Billy McKinney is getting some mention too. And that doesn't include the idea that Jorge Mateo (ranked the 47th best prospect in baseball) could be turned into a centerfielder.
That makes three, possibly four, strong candidates for the outfield, along with a couple more possible MLB regulars in the Yankees' future.
Oh, and there's no guarantee that the team will be able to offload Jacoby Ellsbury, either.
The main point here is that the future outfield looks pretty strong. So how about using that money elsewhere?
How about luring Clayton Kershaw away from the west coast, assuming the Dodgers can't re-sign him once he inevitably opts out of his current deal? Perhaps Miguel Andujar flames out leaving the Yankees scrambling to fill third base, and therefore wanting to go hard after Manny Machado?
Or what about signing "Big Game" James Shields!?!?
So much can happen before now and at the end of the 2018 season. And there's a good chance some of the guys I mentioned earlier are used in trades before then. But I have to be honest... it's a little disconcerting that the Yankees may sign somebody for up to 15 years and nearly $500 million.
I mean, long contracts tend to become albatrosses. Heck, we could be dreaming of the end of Bryce's contract as soon as 2025, and that would only be half-way into the deal.