On paper, the New York Yankees’ 2023 MLB season lineup emerged as a force to be reckoned with. The roster led by stars Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole, followed by strong individuals like Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Rodon, seemed worthy of competing for a World Series championship. However, every prediction went to dust once the season kicked in.
The Yankees battled injuries and inconsistencies throughout the year. Eventually, the unit fell out of the championship contention and off the playoff race as well. Regardless, Hal Steinbrenner has big plans set in motion for the 2024 season. The bid to regain competitiveness will begin during the upcoming off-season as the Yanks remain linked to two major moves.
Yankees To Acquire Two Big Guns During Free Agency To Fill Up Major Roster Holes
The New York Yankees’ mistake of ignoring the left field hole during the last off-season cost them a playoff berth in the 2023 season. Hal Steinbrenner is expected to learn from these mistakes and subsequently make splashy during upcoming free agency. Moreover, if Chris Kirschner of The Athletic is to be believed, the Bronx Bombers seem likely to acquire both OF Cody Bellinger and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Bellinger and Yamamoto’s market value is anticipated to go up the roof. Yet, the Yanks’ desperation will make them go berserk next season. As far as Cody is concerned, the left-handed hitter fits perfectly into the team’s requirement for a potent outfielder. He has had a strong surge with the Cubs after struggling for two seasons with the Dodgers.
Despite consistency concerns, Cody Bellinger remains the best fit for the New York Yankees. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, on the other hand, will likely remain the second most sought-after pitcher this off-season after Shohei Ohtani. Yamamoto’s market value is estimated at $200 million, and the Bombers have apparently put together an offer tough to beat for the rivals. The Japanese ace is a two-time MVP in Nippon Professional Baseball. His ERA in the past seven seasons stands at 1.82 with 922 strikeouts. Undoubtedly, Yamamoto is a prized possession who can end the Yanks’ pitching woes immediately. Having said that, Steinbrenner has to remain cautious during negotiations. They have a luxury tax rule to follow and cannot afford to violate the regulations this time, as it will result in heavy penalties.
Yanks Could Go After Another Big Gun During Free Agency
Apart from Cody Bellinger, the Yankees have set eyes on another superstar outfielder. Recently, the team remained linked to San Diego Padres star outfielder Juan Soto. The 24-year-old left-handed hitter witnessed a meteoric rise in the big leagues in a short span. At just 24, he is already considered one of the best players in the league. Thus, it makes sense for the Yanks to go after Soto.
However, Soto won’t come cheap. The Yankees will have to engage in a blockbuster trade with the Padres wherein they put a top prospect in return deal. It’s the price the team has to pay to land a strong and long-term solution for the left-field woe. Having said that, the Padres are yet to reveal their off-season stand.