New York Yankees Editorial: Should Justin Upton Be the Yankees Top Priority?


With the New York Yankees off-season officially under way, a lot of people are talking about how the Yankees can get better for the start of 2016. While the obvious needs are upgrades in starting pitching and an every-day second baseman, the Yankees could also benefit from adding a right-handed hitting outfielder.

The first name that jumps off the table is Yoenis Cespedes, who will be making his National League Playoff debut with the New York Mets on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The general notion is that the Mets will do everything in their power to try and re-sign the 29-year old Cuban slugger, which might even push Cespedes to a price range that even the Yankees are willing to go to.

That said, the Yankees might be more inclined to try and sign 28-year old Justin Upton, who is actually a better fit for the Yankees than Cespedes and will command much less from a financial standpoint.

For starters, the Yankees don’t just need a right handed power bat. They need a right-hand hitter who can hit southpaws. The Yankees struggled all year against lefties, posting a combined team slash line of .257/.336/.414 with a .749 OBP in 2015.

Justin Upton, who saw his production drop off a bit in 2015 with the San Diego Padres, still showed that he’s capable off hitting left-handers. Over the course of the last three seasons split between the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, Upton is hitting .276 with an incredibly high .926 OPS. Also, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily NewsUpton’s .893 OPS against left-handed pitchers since his first full season in 2008 ranks him as the eighth-highest among righthanded-hitting outfielders, making the three-time All-Star and Norfolk, Virginia native a perfect fit for the Yankees going forward.

Of course the only way to add Justin Upton would essentially be for the New York Yankees to get creative and trade one of their outfielders, which would most likely be Brett Gardner considering he’s one of the few players under a tradable a contract.

What do you think Yankees fans? Let us know in the comments below?

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