The place the Yankees can flip for left subject choices, from free agent Michael Conforto to a Bryan Reynolds commerce

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The New York Yankees have had an eventful finish to the work week. Lower than 24 hours after agreeing to phrases with left-handed starter Carlos Rodón on a long-term deal, the Yankees watched as outfielder Andrew Benintendi signed a five-year pact value $75 million with the Chicago White Sox. Benintendi’s contract is probably the most profitable the White Sox have ever handed to a free agent.

Benintendi’s departure implies that Yankees normal supervisor Brian Cashman should rethink his plans for left subject. The excellent news for Cashman is that he has an excellent outfield basis from which to construct. Proper fielder Aaron Choose returned earlier this winter after final season’s historic home-run barrage, whereas middle fielder Harrison Bader shall be in tow for a whole season after coming over on the commerce deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Yankees do have some inner choices they may take into account for the left-field emptiness, together with veteran Aaron Hicks and teenager Oswaldo Cabrera. Given New York’s reported curiosity in retaining Benintendi, it is in all probability honest to imagine that their choice could be to open camp with an alternative choice slotted forward of Hicks and Cabrera on the depth chart.

Simply who would possibly that individual be? Let’s check out a few of the prospects accessible to the Yankees on each the free-agent and commerce fronts.

Free brokers

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The highest free-agent outfielder remaining available on the market is Michael Brantley. CBS Sports activities ranked him fifteenth coming into the winter, however his inventory was tough to peg due to his age (he’ll flip 36 subsequent Could) and the truth that he didn’t play after June 26 due to season-ending shoulder surgical procedure. The Yankees would appear like a wise suitor for Brantley on the floor. They are a contender, and so they can afford to provide him a profitable one-year cope with the hope that the prolonged layoff will not damage him. Even so, it is unclear if the Yankees have curiosity in Brantley, whose identify has largely been absent from the rumor mill.

There are a variety of different top-50 free-agent outfielders but to seek out properties, starting with the Twenty eighth-ranked Jurickson Profar and increasing to Michael Conforto (No. 34), Wil Myers (No. 46), and David Peralta (No. 47). Throw within the unranked AJ Pollock, and the Yankees have some digging to do.

Profar is the closest factor the market gives to a Benintendi proxy — at the least within the sense that they are each slugging poor. In any other case, it is an imperfect comparability. Whereas Profar has hit .244/.333/.375 (103 OPS+) over the past three seasons, Benintendi has batted .282/.347/.410 (109 OPS+). Profar’s uncooked numbers are broken by him taking part in his dwelling video games in Petco, however there’s nonetheless a spot there. It does not assist that Benintendi is the superior fielder. 

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Conforto, for his half, is probably probably the most intriguing upside play. He didn’t swimsuit up for anybody final season after struggling a shoulder harm throughout a spring exercise. Within the seven prior years, all spent with the New York Mets, he hit .255/.356/.468 (124 OPS+) and launched 132 dwelling runs. Conforto’s left-handed energy would appear to pair effectively with Yankee Stadium’s dimensions.

Let’s play the lightning spherical for the opposite three names talked about above. Myers and Pollock are each short-side platoon sorts. Myers has outproduced Mookie Betts versus lefties throughout the Pandemic Period, whereas Pollock posted a .935 OPS in opposition to southpaws in 2022. Peralta is sturdy in opposition to righties, which means he could be a high quality dance companion for both, ought to it come to that.

Say the Yankees discover not one of the choices above to be passable. May they be capable to do higher by commerce? With the caveat that it is laborious to know precisely who’s and who is not accessible, we occur to assume so.

Commerce targets

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The plain prime candidate on this entrance is Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is a switch-hitter with three years of group management remaining, a profession .281/.361/.481 (127 OPS+) slashline and a public request to be traded. The one teensy tiny drawback is that the Pirates do not need to deal him, and are reportedly looking for a Juan Soto-like bundle in return. Good luck.

Shy of Reynolds, the Yankees may dream on securing a long-term match within the type of somebody acquired from both the Arizona Diamondbacks or the St. Louis Cardinals’ bloated outfield conditions. 

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The Diamondbacks aren’t more likely to half with Corbin Carroll or Daulton Varsho, however additionally they make use of children Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy, in addition to former Rookie of the 12 months Award winner Kyle Lewis. As for the Cardinals, they’ve Tyler O’Neill, Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Alec Burleson on their projected roster. That does not embrace Moisés Gómez or prime prospect Jordan Walker, both of whom may step onto the big-league roster at a whim.

Now, we really feel obligated to notice that the Yankees have to surrender somebody to get somebody. The Yankees exhausted a few of their organizational depth (significantly pitchers) final summer time, buying and selling away prospects to acquire Benintendi, Frankie Montas, Lou Trivino, and Scott Effross. They do nonetheless have some intriguing prospects to buy round, however their consolation in parting with high quality prospects will inform their value bracket.

With that in thoughts, we’ll conclude by pertaining to two American League Central outfielders who relaxation an extra downstream than the aforementioned gamers.

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The Minnesota Twins have mentioned Max Kepler with different groups and appear well-positioned to commerce him given their current signing of Joey Gallo. He gives good protection and he is a dependable supply for a 90 OPS+ or higher, plus he has two years left on his contract. The Detroit Tigers, in the meantime, would possibly favor to hold onto Austin Meadows in order that he can regain commerce worth. Meadows, who has two years of group management left, appeared in simply 36 contests final season due to harm and an absence to work on his psychological well being.

The fact of the commerce market is that the Yankees shall be inquiring about gamers effectively past the reaches of this text. Nobody can say for sure who the Yankees will add, but it surely looks like a protected guess that they will discover somebody to their liking between now and the opening of camp.

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