Yankees: 3 World Series heroes NYY can sign for 2022
No, not Freddie Freeman. The New York Yankees cannot sign Freddie Freeman. He borderline cried when asked in the postgame about what it meant to him to stay in Atlanta. Nice thought, but … nope.
The World Champion Atlanta Braves, who just sent the Houston Astros into the toilet (feels good!), do have a few other key free agents for the Bombers to consider. Caution should be exercised, considering the Braves might’ve already squeezed these players’ career highlights out of them this fall, but at the right price, Atlanta’s midseason acquisitions could be New York’s offseason fortifications.
At the very least, the work of Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos should’ve convinced Yankees fans that it’s never over until it’s over, and maybe with a little non-big-name shrewdness, a year that was never supposed to be “the year” could end up as the drought-breaker after all.
Given as low as an 0.3% chance to win the World Series back in mid-July, the Braves reestablished dominance in August and September thanks to an infusion of talent at the margins, most of which was acquired by Anthopolous in a surprising midseason pivot to going all in after losing Ronald Acuña Jr.
Essentially, it was like if — facing the same long odds — the Yankees just added four power-hitting bench pieces instead of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo … and it totally worked.
Good news! Most of the patchwork pieces who you just watched dominate in October are now available to sign for money alone.
Bad news! Will it really work twice?
If the Yankees want to follow the Braves model this offseason, they don’t even have to think very hard. These World Series heroes are about to enter free agency — and yes, we included the guy who basically single-handedly won Atlanta the NLDS against Milwaukee. There’s also a chance Adam Duvall’s mutual option gets declined, and he shows up on the prowl, too. Decisions, decisions …
These 3 Braves World Series heroes could go to the Yankees this offseason.
3. Jorge Soler
Yes, the World Series MVP could be yours — as long as you don’t count on him to drill the baseball with regularity and hit for a high average all year long. After stagnating in Kansas City, Jorge Soler blitzed to the finish line with Braves but still ended up finishing the season with negative WAR. Weird.
With Atlanta, he looked much more like the hitter he’d been in 2019 in KC when he pounded a league-leading 48 home runs with a 137 OPS+. Still just 29 but highly inconsistent, we’re not sure if he’ll command any more security than three years or any more than … $30 million? He’s an elite 100-start outfielder who can be floated in and out, but counted on in October. If the Yanks were to sign him, they could move Joey Gallo to center with regularity and largely forget about Aaron Hicks — yes, Ludacris, that’s what my fantasy is.
Yes, obviously, this is a longshot. But if you want to continue to play Big Boy Baseball in the Bronx while protecting Soler with plenty of firepower, this could be a fun addition to the outfield mix. He certainly proved once again he’s fearless in the postseason, but it wasn’t the first time; his Cubbies tenure included series where he hit .571 and .417 (in 2015) before he found himself largely deemphasized in 2016 (though he did sock a triple in the World Series against the Tribe).
He’s going to be an interesting candidate for somebody … somebody who likes destroying baseballs. Why not us?