In a fiery interview, which comprised mostly irreverent stuff, Brian Cashman’s one line caught fans’ attention. The New York Yankees general manager confirmed the need for as many as two outfielders to stage an inspiring comeback in 2024. Thus, here are five such outfield options that fit best in the Yankee roster and strike the right balance simultaneously.
The left-handed generational star has one year left with the San Diego Padres and remains a perfect fit for the New York Yankees. At the age of 25, Soto has earned the attributes of a generational outfielder. His lefty prowess will solve the Yanks’ run production woes imminently. While the Bronx Bombers will lose key prospects in the trade deal, it’s a risk worth taking for a talent like Juan Soto. The only challenge here for Hal Steinbrenner is to convince the Padres to make Soto available.
If the Padres back out on Juan Soto, Cody Bellinger is the next top and ideal outfield candidate for the New York Yankees to consider. Bellinger, who witnessed a resurgence with the Cubs this year, is set to enter free agency in 2024. Moreover, the left-hander attained success at Yankee Stadium in 2023. However, the former NL MVP has faced a fair share of injury struggles over the years. Also, the threat of a potential regression will always loom over his shoulders. Regardless, Cody’s effectiveness when healthy will outweigh all the underlying doubts. Thus, going after Cody Bellinger in free agency should be a no-brainer move for the Bombers.
Giants outfielder Joc Pederson could attain success in the Yankee stadium as a left-hand batter. He had a career second-best season in 2022, consisting of 23 home runs and 70 RBIs. Pederson is excellent at connecting hits and drawing walks, a skill Aaron Judge will adore dearly. He is a free agent with no intentions of returning to San Francisco. Also, Joc remains a much cheaper alternative to Juan Soto or Cody Bellinger, which makes him an ideal candidate for Hal Steinbrenner to consider.
Chicago Cubs outfielder/second baseman Whit Merrifield is coming off an All-Star season in 2023. Since playing regularly since 2017, Merrifield is only second to Freddie Freeman on the list of batters with the most hits in MLB. While Whit is right-handed, his ability to draw walks and secure bases is something the Yankees need at the moment. He is healthy, versatile and an excellent base stealer. In his decade-long career, Merrifield won three AL stolen base titles. All in all, Whit Merrifield is a complete player who can contribute in many ways in the Bronx.
Kevin Kiermaier is one of the few centre-field candidates available in the free-agent market this off-season. With Jasson Dominguez out of the first half of the 2024 season, the Yankees need a temporary solution, and Kevin is a perfect fit. In his recent stint with the Blue Jays, Kiermaier posted a .741 OPS and won his fourth Gold Glove. While the outfielder has dealt with a fair share of injuries throughout his career, Kevin’s experience in AL-East is a big plus working in his favour. Not to forget, he played a key role in Dodger’s sensational World Series win in 2020 by posting a .368 batting average.