The winter meeting for this off-season is scheduled to go on the floor next week. During the scheduled meeting, many teams, including the New York Yankees, are expected to sign off on a few contracts. Having said that, the Bronx Bombers’ top priority is to acquire top outfielders. Here are some options the front office must consider landing in the upcoming winter meeting.
1. Cody Bellinger
The left-handed outfielder Cody Bellinger, recorded a breakout season with Chicago Cubs in 2023. He finished the year with .307, 26 home runs and 97 RBIs. Bellinger is an excellent left-field hitter, which could be his biggest strength at the Yankee Stadium. While Bellinger will come along with a risk of regression, the odds of success outweigh the odds of failure. Recently, rumors suggested that Yanks’ analytical department is concerned about the outfielder’s hard-hit rate. However, with Aaron Judge influencing the Yanks towards a new approach, Cody Bellinger’s candidacy is unlikely to be affected.
2. Juan Soto
Juan Soto’s pursuit is relatively tedious compared to Cody Bellinger’s. The generational star is still under the San Diego Padres’ control, and the latter is unwilling to part ways, at least for this off-season. The general manager has faith in his team to contest for a championship in 2024. However, Preller has a daunting task to resolve before he even thinks of retaining Soto. The Padres are in a deep financial mess, and trading Soto is their only solution. For the Yankees, acquiring the left-hander would solve half of the roster problems. He will not only balance the hitting lineup but also solve the left-field crisis.
3. Kevin Kiermaier
If Cody Bellinger and Juan Soto fall out of Yankees’ lap, Kevin Kiermaier remains the best alternative. The center fielder has plenty of AL-East experience handy. Moreover, Kevin had a decent season in 2023. He posted a .265 batting average with eight homers and 36 RBIs. Besides, Kiermaier’s defensive abilities in the outfield, particularly in center field, have made him a valuable asset to the Rays and the Jays over the years. Having said that, the outfielder earned $9 million in arbitration last year and is expected to come cheap this off-season. Basically, Kevin is a cheaper alternative to Cody and Soto. But it should not be signed in a long-term deal.
4. Charlie Blackmon
Charlie Blackmon hadn’t been linked to the Yankees until very recently. SNY proposed the potential option in the latest article. Charlie is a 12-year MLB veteran who spent his entire career at Colorado Rockies. He is a declining outfielder but could be a good short-term fit. Blackmon posted .279 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 2023 across 96 games. Despite being in the final stages of a storied career, Charlie played 130+ games in 2021 and 2022. Undoubtedly, acquiring Charlie Blackmon would be a risk, but the arbitration-eligible player is a cost-effective outfield candidate compared to the above-mentioned names.
Ultimately, the New York Yankees front office must carefully assess their financial sweepstakes before making a final decision.