But why?! The roster is already set, especially after the Brett Gardner signing. How many more outfielders do we need?
Glad you asked. The Yankees don’t need another outfielder, but there’s no telling what will happened between now and Opening Day (or perhaps shortly after).
Have you been paying attention the last four years? The outfield, in particular, has dealt with crushing injuries, so it’s likely general manager Brian Cashman wants to get ahead of that in every possible way in the event “something” happens.
But in the event someone does go down and has to miss an extended period of time, why not keep Cespedes in the back of your mind as a filler for a few weeks or months? Based on what we last saw from him, he’s still got pop and possesses an absolute cannon for a right arm.
In summation, this was nothing more than the Yankees doing their due diligence and exploring a potential premium insurance option in case they run into a serious issue.
Something else to note: it’s highly unlikely Cespedes signs a deal before Opening Day unless a vacancy opens and a team is in desperate need of an outfield power bat. That also helps the Yanks in case they need to make an addition in, say, mid-April or early May.
And with the trade rumors surrounding Mike Tauchman, you really never know what could happen.
Then again, we could be wrong, but we’re not sure who will be rushing to sign Cespedes, who’s been nothing but a disaster ever since signing that huge contract with the Mets. He’s played in just 259 games since the start of 2016 thanks to an incident that saw him break both of his ankles on his ranch, which was followed by a controversial decision to opt out of the 2020 season when he left the team without notifying anybody.
By no means would Cespedes be considered an option for this current version of the Yankees, but things could change if the Bombers are down on their luck and he remains unsigned. At this point in his career, he’s barely played in five years and is going to be 36 in October.
The silver lining in all of this? It’s clear Cashman is making sure he’s beyond prepared to keep the Yankees afloat if an untimely emergency presents itself.