Yankees general manager Brian Cashman discussed the team’s offseason needs amid a passionate defense of the franchise during the annual general managers’ meetings.
The Yankees will be actively seeking two outfielders, a left fielder and center fielder, preferably left-handed hitters, according to Cashman. Additionally, Cashman expressed the ongoing need to strengthen the team’s pitching staff, and the Yankees are considering leveraging their surplus of infielders in potential trades.
Following a disappointing 82-80 season, there is a belief in the industry that the Yankees will be aggressive in free agency.
Agent Scott Boras commented on the Yankees’ potential aggressiveness, noting that they have two top-five players in Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole. Given the Yankees’ status as a high-revenue team, Boras questioned why they wouldn’t want to reward their fan base with significant moves in free agency.
Boras represents two highly sought-after outfielders, Cody Bellinger in free agency, and Juan Soto, who might be available in a trade. Both players are left-handed hitters, which aligns with the Yankees’ preferences. Kevin Kiermaier and Jung Hoo Lee, two additional left-handed-hitting center fielders, are also considered options as the Yankees aim to complete their outfield alongside Aaron Judge. Center fielder Jasson Dominguez is expected to be sidelined until at least June due to Tommy John surgery.
Cody Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, is coming off a strong season with the Cubs in which he hit .307 with a .881 OPS and 20 stolen bases. Boras mentioned that most teams interested in Bellinger are considering him as a center fielder, but he also possesses versatility to play first base and corner outfield positions.
Juan Soto’s situation remains uncertain. As the 25-year-old left fielder enters the final year of his contract with the Padres, it’s unclear whether he will be made available this offseason. Padres GM AJ Preller indicated they would discuss a long-term deal with Soto and consider trade scenarios based on those talks. Pitching is a priority for the Padres, and the Yankees could offer them pitchers like Michael King, Clarke Schmidt, or some of their top pitching prospects in a potential deal.
While the Yankees are familiar with Kevin Kiermaier’s defensive prowess from their encounters in the AL East over the past decade, Jung Hoo Lee remains relatively unknown. Boras believes that Lee’s success in Korea can transition to MLB, highlighting his abilities in center field, on defense, and at the plate. Boras predicts that Jung Hoo Lee could bring a “K-Pop” sensation to MLB.