The New York Yankees-Carlos Rodón rumors sure are fun/encouraging, but such a pairing is far from a guarantee. Fans won’t believe it until there’s a presser to introduce the left-hander where he puts on the pinstripes.
Though general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner do “spend,” they’re far from Steve Cohen territory. They’re far from the usual Los Angeles Dodgers territory, too. One would describe it has a healthy payroll that never really goes over the top/exercises its true strength, at least in recent seasons.
Though 2023 might be different after Aaron Judge’s nine-year, $360 million contract, we’re still not going to rule out the Yankees making some budget-conscious moves to round out the roster in the event the luxury tax is a real concern for them.
Lucky for Cash, there are a number of former All-Stars out there looking for a new home. And we’d argue all of them have plenty left in the tank or a role to play on a title-contending team.
It’s a minor way the Yankees can “upgrade,” even though it’s not the preferable way to do so.
The Yankees can still target these five former All-Stars in free agency
5. Omar Narvaez
This spot was reserved for Mike Zunino before he signed with the Guardians. Bummer. Instead, we have 2021 All-Star Omar Narvaez to push on you!
The former Brewer dealt with injuries in 2022, which limited him to 84 games. But he has a track record of being productive. He logged a 119 OPS+ in 2018 with the White Sox (97 games) and 2019 with the Mariners (132 games). Then his awesome first half in 2021 earned him a nod for the Midsummer Classic.
He’s not exactly the greatest defender, but he’s improved in that department from both a DRS and dWAR perspective. He’s got pop, as proven by his 22-HR 2019 season, despite the juiced ball being a factor. At this point, it’s hard to argue he isn’t a better option than Kyle Higashioka, who’s taken a step back on defense and hasn’t exactly proven his “pop” is here to stay (or his bat in general).
Long story short, Narvaez has multiple seasons as an above-average starter under his belt. This would help the Yankees.