2. Corey Dickerson
Entering mid-January, following a wide swath of arbitration settlements (but not Torres!), the Yankees’ projected tax payroll is alllllll the way up at $291,229,921, under $2 million short of the Steve Cohen Tax.
That means, as presently constructed, the only signings they would realistically be willing to absorb are of the $1-2 million variety (again, unless they can swap out a fraction of Donaldson’s money).
Within those confines, the best left fielder they probably could’ve signed to supplement Aaron Hicks/Oswaldo Cabrera was Corey Dickerson, a left-handed bat who recently went to the Washington Nationals for $2.25 million.
The good news? That means he’ll be very much available at the deadline, for half that price, as an alternative to Ian Happ and Bryan Reynolds.
Considering that upside — the relationship might not be over! — it’s worth noting that the unheralded Dickerson with the long, loping swing was an above-average hitter every season from 2014-2019, posting an OPS+ of 131 split between Pittsburgh and Philly in that final season. He wasn’t just a Coors Field product after all, though he did rake with the Rockies in 2014-15.
In 2021, Dickerson thrived in the AL East in the second half with the Blue Jays, hitting .282 with a .779 OPS. Last season, he was exactly league-average offensively with the Cardinals, though his average exit velocity was an unimpressive 87.7 MPH.
That’s been Dickerson his whole career, though. He’s never topped an average exit velo of 89.7 MPH since 2015, and hasn’t topped 88 MPH since 2017. Somehow, he’s always made it work. He might be a rotational bench player/platoon bat at this point, but at his cost, the Yankees would be wise to pull a ’21 Jays and get him in August.