Shohei Ohtani, JD Martinez, Brandon Belt, Jesse Winker

Ahead of the winter meeting week, the New York Yankees are sorting out the final list of free agency candidates they would want to target this off-season. A few names, such as Cody Bellinger, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and Jordan Montgomery, amongst many others, would surely appear on the list. However, apart from outfielder and starting pitcher, the Yanks could also use the services of an additional designated hitter as Brian Cashman does not expect Giancarlo Stanton to stay healthy next year. Thus, below mentioned are four such DH options the Bronx Bombers must consider to target this off-season.

1. Shohei Ohtani

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Two-way sensation and most sought-after free agent Shohei Ohtani will play as a DH next season. Since the two-player is healing through a UCL injury, he won’t be pitching until and after the 2024 season. Of course, the financial stakes are high. Rumor has it that Ohtani will likely sign the most expensive contract in the history of MLB. Having said that, will the Yanks be willing to spend so much given their current payroll structure? While experts have ruled out the Bombers already, the front office mustn’t throw in the towel just yet. At least try making an offer and then navigate a way accordingly. Even after exhausting all the possible moves, the Yanks failed to acquire Shohei Ohtani, we have other options to choose from as well.


2. J.D Martinez

JD Martinez
SOURCE: AP Photo/Nick Wass

Los Angeles Dodgers are labeled as the top suitor for Shohei Ohtani. If they crack a deal with the two-way sensation, JD Martinez would be axed to make up space for the big man. Martinez had a stellar run in the 2023 season. He finished the year with 33 home runs, 103 RBIs, a .572 slugging percentage, and an .893 OPS. The Yankees could target Martinez as a DH option to bolster their offensive output. Martinez’s track record as a reliable run producer makes him an attractive candidate. While Martinez may come with a significant financial commitment, his offensive contributions and experience could make him a valuable addition to the Bombers’ lineup.

3. Brandon Belt

Brandon Belt
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Brandon Belt is a left-handed batter who is coming off yet another strong season. Belt touched a 1.015 OPS in 2020 and followed it up with a .975 OPS in 2021. In 2023, Brandon’s OPS stayed at .858. Known for his patient approach at the plate and power from the left side, Belt could bring balance to the Yankees lineup. Moreover, the DH’s financial sweepstakes are also lower compared to the above-mentioned options. He earned $9.3 million in arbitration this year and is a free agent in 2024. Thus, overall, Brandon Belt is a cheaper DH alternative for the Yanks to consider this off-season.

4. Jesse Winker

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The former All-Star Jesse Winker’s form has gone downhill since his all-star season in 2021. Moreover, his 2023 numbers are surprisingly similar to Giancarlo Stanton’s, which might discourage the New York Yankees further. However, the left-hander handles the righty pitchers the best when healthy. That is an attribute that can help him attain success in the Bronx. Winker’s versatility in playing both outfield and DH could offer the Yanks flexibility in managing their roster and optimizing offensive matchups. Overall, Winker is not as bad an option as it seems via numerical data.