Yankees: 3 free agents NYY must avoid this offseason

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The Yankees have to get creative in free agency this offseason, but not THIS creative. These guys should be no-nos all around.

We already know the Yankees are going to have to get creative this offseason to meet their various goals, including a DJ LeMahieu extension and the import of a number of free agent starters.

That means, more so than ever before, the team can’t whiff on anyone. No mid-range flyers on starters who are past their prime. No bets on numbers that haven’t improved since 2016 suddenly improving. No wild swings, unless they’re dirt cheap.

With that in mind, these three free agent mistakes should be absolute no-nos for a team that can’t afford to take chances anymore. There’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal, but there’s definitely such a thing as a bad two-year contract. And in this economy (so we’re being told)? There actually, kind of, sort of might be such a thing as a bad one-year deal. Don’t kill the messenger!

All three of these guys are theoretically thought of as in-their-prime contributors, but we implore the Yankees not to give them incentive-laden short deals or, more likely, multi-year errors in judgment.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 26: Jurickson Profar #10 of the San Diego Padres looks on between innings against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 26, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

3. Jurickson Profar

Some team is going to get wooed into overpaying Jurickson Profar based on his versatility. It shouldn’t be the Yankees.

Jurickson Profar is going to end up playing for way too many MLB teams over the course of his career.

Eternally known as the former No. 1 prospect in all of Major League Baseball, Profar is going to keep getting second, third and fourth chances forever. So far, he’s still a toolsy tantalizer, following solid years in Oakland and San Diego, and he’s about to get his first shot in a while at multi-year security.

Odds are high the 27-year-old Profar will get a higher sum than you’re probably assuming after a very good year with the Padres (1.1 WAR, .278, seven homers, only seven stolen bases). If he nets a three- or four-year deal worth about $14 million annually, that might turn out to be decent value, but it could also backfire spectacularly.

Most importantly, he’s not DJ LeMahieu and never will be — and if he arrives in the Bronx, you know exactly who didn’t secure the bag. And that’s not pretty.

Profar will be somebody’s high-volatility signing this offseason, with the notion that he’ll be able to play third, second, short, and the outfield. Whoever gives him his cash will be, likely, universally praised. We sort of know how the baseball analysis market works at this point.

But in 2019, Profar hit just .218 alongside his 20 homers in Oakland. His plate discipline is lacking. His speed doesn’t translate into high stolen base numbers. Somebody’s going to dip their toes into this market, but the Yankees have far more important versatile infielders to focus on.