The New York Yankees are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. They have failed to reach the postseason for the first time since 2016. With that being said, this article will focus on the five free agents that the Yankees should be targeting.
5 Free Agents The Yankees Should Target
This first target is an obvious one. The Yankees desperately need pitching after all. Their first full season with Carlos Rodon, who they signed for six years worth $162 million, didn’t go as planned. Yamamoto is that guy who can solve the Yankees pitching issues for the better long term.
He is coming off an excellent season where he earned himself his third straight triple-crown award. In NPB this season, he led with 16 wins, 1.21 ERA, and 169 strikeouts. No doubt this pitcher would make the Yankees pitching rotation stand out again. The numbers he posted say it all.
Yamamoto has come forward and has stated he wanted to play for a big-market team and the Yankees do seem like a suitable fit for him. While, of course, there are going to be other teams in play for Yamamoto such as the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, and Boston Red Sox without a doubt, if the Yankees were to get Yamamoto, it would not be the first time they signed a player out of Japan. Although, it would be their first since signing Masahiro Tanaka back in 2014. Therefore, keep an eye on the Yankees as they look to be one of the active teams in the run for Yamamoto.
The Yankees are in desperate need of a left-handed batter. Cody Bellinger is the perfect answer for that problem. This season with the Chicago Cubs, Bellinger has found his groove that he had a couple of years back with the Los Angeles Dodgers. This season, he has managed to slash .356/.525/.881 along 26 home runs, 97 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases. And, with the short porch at right field, it does make it a very suitable place for Bellinger to play with the power that he carries.
The Yankees were rumored to acquire him at this trade deadline, but the Cubs decided to hold on to him. They now have a higher chance of signing him to a long-term deal because he is entering free agency. It would be interesting to see the direction the Yankees go with considering the options they have on the table when it comes to acquiring a lefty bat.
If the Yankees were to go a different direction, Kevin Kiermaier is another solid option. Kiermaier has a ton of experience in the AL East, which for the extent of his career has played for the Tampa Bay Rays. Just recently, he finished the 2023 season with another AL East rival, the Toronto Blue Jays. He also managed to end up hitting an OPS of .741 and has won his fourth career gold glove.
The only concern about signing Kiermaier is his history with injuries. When it comes to making plays, it often results in crashing into the wall which causes him to get injured. Not to mention he does save a lot of runs defensively which could benefit the Yankees in the outfielder. His postseason experience is also a plus something that the team could look into too. Last but not least, he bats left-handed something the Yankees lack in their lineup.
The Yankees do have a reputation for spending big on players. But sometimes it’s about spending less on other players that acknowledge solid results. With the future of third base uncertain for the Yankees, they can sign a guy like Jeimer Candelario who’s known as a versatility player. His bat and glove fit perfectly into the lineup that lacks lefties.
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