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Brian Cashman ‘not ruling anything out’ involving pursuit of Bryce Harper

A report this week indicated that the New York Yankees have had internal discussions about possibly moving Bryce Harper to first base should the team sign the superstar free agent. When asked about the report, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined to rule out such a scenario.

“People have talked about Bryce Harper being able to play first base, I don’t know if he can or can’t,” Cashman said during an appearance Tuesday on MLB Network Radio, via MLB.com. “I know he’s very athletic, but that’s not necessarily a bet I would recommend placing with the amount of money he’s expected to get.

“… I’m not ruling anything out. We like to think of ourselves as very progressive and open-minded to any idea, if it’s a good idea,” Cashman added later in the interview. “My main laser focus currently is on those areas of need, but that doesn’t preclude me from, with ownership obviously directing things from above, being open to any idea that makes us the best that we can possibly be.”

The notion that signing Harper would necessitate such a move stems in large part to how the Yankees boast a crowded outfield headed by Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier. First base certainly appears to be one of the weaker links in the Yankees’ formidable lineup, so inserting Harper there would make perfect sense.

Harper’s agent Scott Boras has indicated his client would consider such a move, and Harper himself is said to be intrigued by the prospect, given the parameters of the situation.

Harper has hinted for years now about the appeal of potentially donning the pinstripes, so if transitioning to the infield does appeal to Harper, perhaps the Yankees can work something out.

Cashman has been especially forthcoming during this hot stove season, especially pertaining to another high-profile free agent on the market. The case can be made that the savvy Yankees GM is simply engaging in a bit of gamesmanship to shore up the Yankees’ leverage.