No matter what shenanigans they have planned for the trade deadline, the New York Yankees need a left fielder to open the 2023 season. Anyone not named Aaron Hicks will spark joy, and while Oswaldo Cabrera is a versatile spark, he’s probably best served filling gaps around the infield instead of being bogged down 200 feet away from the action.
So far this offseason, the Yankees have struck out (it seems) in their pursuit of Bryan Reynolds, as the Pirates are demanding a “Juan Soto-like package” (or Soto himself, probably, if the Padres are feeling frisky). They’ve allowed the Blue Jays to snag Daulton Varsho at the high cost of Gabriel Moreno. They’ve added a few non-roster invitee types like Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun.
In other words, they haven’t done all that much, and could still use an additional outfielder with bonafides — left-hander preferred, but they’re not all that picky.
What about Adam Duvall, a World Series hero for the 2021 Braves coming off a bit of a down year (though not if you dig deeper into the momentum of his numbers)?
FanSided’s Robert Murray made the connection this week, and the longer Duvall lingers on the market, the more it makes sense.
Will the Yankees wind up with Adam Duvall in their left field mix?
According to Murray’s analysis:
"But an outfielder who makes sense for the Yankees on numerous fronts is Adam Duvall.Duvall, 34, is fully healthy after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He’s compiled 58 Defensive Runs Saved and 28 Outs Above Average throughout his career. He’s hit 163 home runs, including 38 in 2021 with the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves. And from June 1 until his last game on July 23, he had a 20.5 barrel percentage and an .891 OPS — an indication he was back in form after a slow start.Duvall, who’s expected to command a short-term contract, could also benefit from MLB banning the shift, as he was shifted 71.7 percent of the time last season. His power would certainly play well in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium and he would form a platoon in left field with Oswaldo Cabrera."
As silly as it sounds, the Yankees’ budget will firm up a bit on Friday, when all their pre-arbitration deals are settled — every penny counts!
With no desire to go over the Steve Cohen Tax — which recently forced the team to choose between Carlos Rodón and Andrew Benintendi — New York will now navigate through the remainder of the offseason with a low-level of cash left to spend.
Hopefully, that figure nestles nicely in Duvall’s budget. Otherwise, it’s time to shed some salary, because this is a match made in left — and in the left-field bleachers.