Earlier this month, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman dropped a major hint on the team’s off-season plans in a fiery press interview. Cashman said the lineup needs two strong outfielders, and that would exactly be the front office’s target this off-season. The revolving door in the center and left would be addressed on a priority basis.
Besides the never-ending left field woes, the Yankees created a new hole in center field during the 2023 season. Top prospect Jasson Dominguez tore his elbow UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery for the same. He is set to miss the first half of the 2024 season, which forced the Bombers to look for reinforcements. Meanwhile, the team has been linked to a Korean phenomenon in a surprise free-agency deal.
Korean Outfielder Jung Hoo Lee To Enter MLB! Yankees Named Among Top Suitors!
Jung Hoo Lee, a highly touted outfielder from the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), is set to take a leap into MLB this off-season. The Kiwoom Heroes granted Hoo Lee’s request and will make him available in the next few weeks once the player posting process concludes. Ahead of the big day, the list of suitors has emerged, and surprisingly, the New York Yankees topped the list with the San Francisco Giants. Jon Morosi of MLB confirmed the same on MLB.network. Earlier, the Bronx Bombers front office scouted the outfielder during the Korean league. Not only that, the scouts reportedly left highly impressed with his batting skills.
Jung Hoo Lee, a left-hander center fielder, won MLV in 2022. However, the 2023 season turned out to be a major disappointment. He could hit only six home runs in 86 games before falling prey to a left ankle injury for which he had to opt for surgery. Needless to say, the surgery ended his season prematurely due to an extended rehab process. Moreover, his availability for spring training is also subject to his fitness. Having said that, Lee’s health dynamics wouldn’t impact his free agency rendezvous. The center fielder is a young and dynamic option for any team, let alone the Yankees. But the Bombers are more desperate than any other team. With Jung Hoo Lee, the Yanks would fill up one hole with only left field remaining the key problem.
Fans Unimpressed With Yanks’ Alleged Interest In Jung Hoo Lee!
While the New York Yankees front office sees OF Jung Hoo Lee as an asset, the Yankee fanbase begs to differ. As soon as the rumors of the Bombers alleged pursuit surfaced, fans thronged the internet to call out the move. Many fans canceled him because of the outfielder’s extensive injury history. Also, the supporters don’t think Lee is an ideal replacement for Juan Soto.
Padres generational outfielder Juan Soto remained linked to the Yankees in a blockbuster trade deal. However, the Padres are not budging. They see Soto as an asset and remain determined to ignore the financial woes that comes with keeping Soto for the 2024 season. However, the fans have to be realistic in this scenario. Juan Soto’s trade deal seems unlikely to come through anytime soon. Thus, the Bombers must look for alternatives in the meantime to address roster shortcomings.