2. Ian Happ
Why wasn’t this done the first time? It would’ve solved the Yankees’ left field problem and given them an answer at the position for 2023. Instead, they traded for Andrew Benintendi, who got hurt and then became a free agent. They couldn’t predict the injury, but New York ended up getting no impact and no solution for 2023.
Had they been more aggressive in trying to trade for Ian Happ, perhaps he could’ve been packaged with reliever Scott Effross. Maybe they did try, who knows. But the only rumblings fans heard leading up to the deadline were that of loose interest/consideration.
It seemed like a match, too, because Happ doesn’t figure to be in the Cubs’ long-term plans due to Chicago’s current trajectory. The slugger had an All-Star campaign (his first) in 2022 and captured the Gold Glove for left field in the National League. He notched career highs with a .271 batting average, 42 doubles, 72 runs scored and 72 RBI. His 119 OPS+ would’ve done wonders in a Yankees lineup that mostly consisted of average hitters when all was said and done.
Well, the price has no doubt decreased because of the lost half-year of club control. Yankees should revisit this ASAP if they deem the outfield market too pricey. They’re already going to have to pay top dollar to fill the void in right field.