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Where will Yankees turn after losing out on Corbin

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The James Paxton trade was one of the first of Major League Baseball’s offseason, and part of the New York Yankees’ thinking in grabbing the left-hander from Seattle was that it would inoculate them from any desperation. No matter what followed, the Yankees would know that their rotation would start with Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, and that they would not feel compelled to overbid or overcompensate.

When the Washington Nationals added a sixth year to their offer for Patrick Corbin, the Yankees did not chase that. Nor did any other team. Corbin relies heavily on his slider, a pitch that has historically had a troublesome relationship with elbow ligaments, and for a lot of evaluators, six years and over $100 million is a major gamble.

The Yankees are left to consider next-best options in their quest to improve their team.

1. Nathan Eovaldi. He is regarded as the best right-hander on the market. The Yankees know him well from his time with the team and from his work against them in 2018, when his pure stuff had more movement than ever before. His World Series heroics only added to his value, and a bidding war for him is imminent. The Red Sox would like the keep him, the Yankees would like him, and he’s an absolutely perfect fit for the Houston Astros. Eovaldi grew up just outside of Houston; he is the type of hard thrower that the Astros have targeted in recent winters, and soon enough, Jeff Luhnow will have his own starting pitching concerns. Charlie Morton and Dallas Keuchel moved into free agency this winter, and next winter, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole could become eligible to follow. On a four- or five-year deal, Eovaldi could be a bridge in 2020 for the Astros.

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MLB

Matt Adams returning to Washington Nationals on one-year deal

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First baseman Matt Adams is returning to the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $4 million deal, according to multiple reports.

The left-handed slugger finished last season with the St. Louis Cardinals after being waived by the Nationals in a salary dump in August.

Adams, 30, hit .239 with 21 home runs for the season, averaging .257 with 18 home runs in 94 games with the Nationals.

He gives the Nationals some left-handed power off the bench and relief for Ryan Zimmerman at first.

In seven seasons with the Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Nationals, he has 96 home runs, 332 RBIs and a .266 average.

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Top spenders Red Sox owe nearly $12 million in luxury tax

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NEW YORK — The World Series champion Boston Red Sox owe $11.95 million in luxury tax for having baseball’s top payroll.

That’s according to final calculations by the commissioner’s office obtained by The Associated Press. The only other team that owes is the Washington Nationals, who must pay $2.39 million.

Because Boston was more than $40 million over the tax threshold, it also became the first team to incur a new penalty put in place for the 2018 season: the top Red Sox selection in next June’s amateur draft will be dropped 10 places.

Boston’s top pick had been projected to be No. 33 overall before the penalty.

The New York Yankees dropped under the threshold for the first time, and the Los Angeles Dodgers fell below for the first time since 2012.

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White Sox have limits on Manny Machado, Bryce Harper

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The White Sox slashed their payroll in recent seasons as they traded away players such as Chris Sale and Adam Eaton and went about the business of stockpiling prospects. This leaves them in perfect position to grow their payroll now, to make moves like the transaction they executed Friday, when they agreed to take on first baseman Yonder Alonso, a $9 million salary dump of the Cleveland Indians.

Alonso happens to be the brother-in-law of superstar free agent Manny Machado, and both players are represented by agent Dan Lozano. This move will feed industry theory that the White Sox are laying the groundwork for a significant, aggressive strike on either Machado or Bryce Harper, the two most prominent players available.

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