2. Starling Marte
This might shock you, but the Yankees’ solution in center field does not involve playing Aaron Judge there everyday.
It also shouldn’t involve relying on Aaron Hicks, who might bounce back and once again be an OBP-reliant power threat after yet another surgery, but also hasn’t been quite the same player since a large sample size since 2018. Anything the team gets from Hicks next year will be a blessed bonus.
Thirdly — and we can’t believe we have to say this — don’t put off signing someone because you don’t want to “block Jasson Dominguez.” Things happen! We hope the teenaged Dominguez becomes elite. But you cannot worry about that for 2022. Development isn’t linear, and he’s got a ways to go.
Starling Marte caught our eye at the trade deadline, and he’s going to do so this offseason, too. In case you weren’t interested the last time he hit the market, maybe the way he’s been running and gunning in Oakland has caught your attention? Plus, he’s available for dollars only now.
In the midst of his best big-league season (137 OPS+, a career high, at the age of 32), Marte’s most eye-popping statistic has to be his stolen base total. On the year, he’s 45/48. Impressive! Game-changing, as far as Yankee fans are concerned. But since arriving in Oakland on July 31? 23 bases nabbed in 23 attempts. It’s taken him just 39 games.
Marte would be a perfect bridge and eventual fourth outfielder, presuming Dominguez, Brandon Lockridge, and maybe even Estevan Florial reach their potential. He also won’t require a long-term pact.
Starling Marte’s Projected Contract: Three Years, $50 Million