The winter meeting isn’t happening until next month. But free agency rumors and speculations are at their peak, especially with respect to the New York Yankees. The former AL-East champions are more desperate than ever for a potential roster overhaul. To recover from an 82-80 record, the team needs a miracle to bounce back.
The front office can produce that miracle during upcoming free agency, given Hal Steinbrenner expands his pockets. Having said that, a lot of high-end outfield names have been linked to the New York Yankees since the off-season commenced. However, as the free agency deadline inches close, the hunt is getting murkier.
Yankees Doubtful Of Cody Bellinger, Wary Of Competition For Jung Hoo Lee!
Cody Bellinger was coined as the New York Yankees’ most sought-after free agency after pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The team has been chasing him since the trade deadline. However, as stars finally seemed to have aligned, a new technical snag hit the club’s pursuit. As per John Heyman of the New York Post, the Bombers’ analytics department raised significant doubt about Bellinger’s effectiveness due to his low hard-hit rate. Whether this serves as a deal breaker or not, only time will tell. However, concerns of a possible regression have been looming over Cody’s shoulders for a while now. The former NL-MVP seems to have failed to gain trust despite a strong 2023 season.
On the other hand, the New York Yankees’ second big outfield pursuit is also in jeopardy. The team scouted Korean center fielder Jung Hoo Lee in 2023 and rated him highly. Despite his lack of ability to hit the ball hard, his elite hand-eye coordination and higher batting average were enough for Lee to lure MLB teams. Now, as per the latest updates, Lee has interest of around 20 MLB teams. The outfielder is expected to be posted in early December, and apparently, teams are gearing up to put the best offer forward. The competition will surely act as a setback for the Bronx Bombers, who were looking forward to hosting Lee in the Bronx. Hoo Lee was a perfect replacement for Jasson Dominguez in center field. Still, the battle isn’t lost. The franchise leadership needs to act bravely and negotiate a win-win deal.
Juan Soto Still A Plausible Option?
Apart from Cody Bellinger and Jung Hoo Lee, the New York Yankees are chasing a generational star named Juan Soto. The San Diego Padres’ financial woes have reignited hope into the Yanks front office. However, the Padres general manager, AJ Preller, is the biggest hurdle Brian Cashman has to pass to stand a real chance at landing Soto.
Preller still thinks the Padres are a championship-caliber team and does not want to throw the towel just yet. The GM considers Juan Soto’s trade to the Yankees equivalent to giving up on the 2024 season. However, to save Soto, Preller must overcome financial difficulties. His hands are tied at the moment, which could be a blessing in disguise for the ambitious and desperate Bronx Bombers.