Signing Yoenis Cespedes Would Address the Yankees Power Concerns
By Cory Fallon
Could Yoenis Cespedes be playing in New York again in 2017 after opting out of his contract with the Mets? He would go a long way towards making the Yankees contenders next year.
On Wednesday, rumors broke that Yoenis Cespedes would opt out of his lucrative two-year, $47 million contract with the New York Mets and become a free agent. He joins a number of big free agent bats, including Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Mark Trumbo. Could Cespedes find himself back in New York, but this time playing for the Yankees?
After his announcement that he would elect free agency, Cespedes immediately became the top free agent in the class of 2017. His rare combo of power, arm strength, and durability has led him to becoming one of the best outfielders in the game. The 30-year-old owns a career .272 batting average, with 137 home runs and 453 runs batted in during his five-year career. But where would he fit with the Yankees?
There is no questioning the Yankees would love to have Cespedes, and have the money to buy him. Power is something the Yankees lacked in 2016, and his 31 home runs and 86 RBI last year would have lead team by a significant margin. But where would he fit in? In 612 career games in the outfield, Cespedes has only played in center (178 times) and left (489), while adding 82 games at DH.
More from Yankees News
- Yankees add to championship core with Wilmer Difo signing
- Aaron Judge’s ‘breadcrumbs’ showed he was never leaving Yankees, has more moves in mind
- Yankees analyst Cameron Maybin projects surprise landing spot for Gary Sánchez
- Yankees swipe intriguing minor-league FA lefty flamethrower from Braves
- What does Carlos Rodón’s new jersey number mean for Domingo Germán?
New York’s outfield picture is already pretty crowded, so signing Cespedes would probably have to be preceded by a trade. Left fielder Brett Gardner is the most likely to be moved after being shopped all last winter and at the trade deadline. The Yankees would love to move center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury as well, but his contract has far too much money remaining at the moment to make that feasible.
Without making a trade, right field could be an option for Cespedes, but the club likely doesn’t want to block top prospect Aaron Judge long-term, even after his struggles in 2016.
As for the DH spot, that looks to be a rotation between Brian McCann and Gary Sanchez depending on who gets the day off. There’s no questioning what Sanchez can do with a bat, and McCann has been one of the more consistent power bats over the past few years. A trade of McCann this winter could free up money and playing time, making time at DH for Cespedes more realistic..
Next: Top Five Arms Under 25 the Yankees Should Target
The Yankees pursuing a power bat this offseason is a definite possibility, and Yoenis Cespedes is the best out there. The franchise has always been known to go after and acquire the best talent, so the possibility that he will come back to New York is real, just this time wearing pinstripes.