4. Kris Bryant
As of Wednesday night, Kris Bryant’s market began to “move,” as they say in the business. MLB insider Jon Heyman revealed a large chunk of teams have checked in on the former Cubs MVP, including the Mets, Padres, Angels, Phillies, Mariners, Astros and Rockies. If the interest is that widespread … perhaps the Yankees are peeking around the corner?
KB was an All-Star last year and carried a potent bat despite constantly bouncing around the field on the defensive side of the ball. He played all three outfield spots as well as first and third base. Though the Giants weren’t entirely “impressed” with his defense, that versatility is nothing to sneeze at, and there’s something to be said about logging reps at that many positions and yielding above-average results. He was far from a defensive liability.
You might say the Yankees don’t need another right-handed bat … but they’d sure take one that’s hit .278 with an .880 OPS (132 OPS+) since 2015. He’s a veteran with ample postseason experience, which checks another box. Maybe the Yankees want to upgrade at third base and end up trading Gio Urshela. Bryant can spend most of his days there and fill in at first or the outfield when needed. Or maybe Urshela stays and plays some third base/backup shortstop while Bryant alternates between third and the outfield.
The Yankees missed out on the one bonafide center fielder on the market in Starling Marte. Acquiring a full-timer at the position would take some serious work on the trade market because free agency is scarce in that department. Perhaps the Yankees have a roving situation in center and simply keep finding reps for very good baseball players. That’d be cool.