Should the Yankees Sign Justin Upton to a One-Year Deal?
We’re already half way through January and the New York Yankees have yet to sign any significant unrestricted free agents. Brian Cashman has repeatedly emphasized that the Yankees are waiting until their big contracts come off the books to make a splash, but they have managed to improve through trades by adding Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman.
However, not spending any money this off-season has restricted the Yankees from improving in certain areas of need, and with Spring Training right around the corner, the Yankees are still left with questions left unanswered.
For example, the Yankees are still in dire need of a right-handed power hitter to stick in the middle of their lineup, especially with Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira all turning another year older.
Though all three had fairly decent numbers in 2015, especially Mark Teixeira who was hitting .255/.357/.548 with 31 home runs before being shutdown with season ending surgery, you can’t bank on all three repeating their performances in 2016.
One player still available that can be a perfect fit for the New York Yankees in 2016 is 28-year old Justin Upton.
Not only is Upton in the middle of his prime and not only does he have a patient approach at the plate, but he is rumored to be looking for a one-year deal so he can test the market again in 2017, where he would easily be the best outfielder available.
Should the Yankees sign Upton, they can still stick to the plan and trade Brett Gardner for pitching depth, which would give them a starting outfield of Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Upton and Carlos Beltran with the newly acquired Aaron Hicks as the fourth outfielder come opening day.
Thinking further down the line, the Yankees can use a one-year contract as a bridge deal for Justin Upton. If they like what they see in 2016, they can use money coming off the books from the expiring Teixeira or Beltran deals to re-sign Upton to an extension in 2017 and beyond.
Gardner has been rumored in trade discussions all winter, but his trend of declining in the second half of the season has really hurt his trade value. Gardner is probably still a better defensive option than Upton, but Upton is significantly better offensively and he’s also four years younger than Gardner.
Upton slashed .251/.336/.453 with 26 home runs in 2015, which can be looked at as either a down year or a mere reflection of the dimensions in Petco Park.
Sure the likes of Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Davis are still on the market, but let’s be honest – Justin Upton on a one year deal will be significantly cheaper than either of the two.
What do you think Yankees fans? Should the Yankees look to sign Justin Upton on a one year deal? Let us know in the comments below.