If Kevin Kiermaier is the 2024 New York Yankees' big-ticket addition -- a defense-first left-handed bat meant to hold down center field while Jasson Dominguez heals his bionic arm -- then it's perfectly alright to scream, cry and throw up.
But if the Yankees sign him, pay him starter money to hold onto a fourth outfield role (as only they can), and watch a wizard go to work with a league-average bat while they add stars around him? How could that possibly upset you?
Kiermaier and Frankie Montas have fairly been lumped into the same bucket in the early days of the offseason. Unfortunately, that bucket has been very unfairly labeled: "Terrible Bucket, Do Not Touch."
This is likely because most of Hal Steinbrenner's comments left fans in a blinding rage that limited their range of motion (and understanding). Montas is a former top-10 Cy Young finisher who might just give you 180 innings, but might just flatline. Kiermaier is a 33-year-old Gold Glover (reigning) who would be miscast as a starter, but properly evaluated as a rock-solid veteran influence with the propensity to find the porch, as well as someone who could be valuable in fits and spurts.
Both players are well worth finding $20 million, total, in the couch cushions for ... unless the Yankees use their contracts as a basis for a Lie Pile and claim they're financially tapped out after bringing in depth.
When Kiermaier floats that he'd like to talk to the Yankees, per Newsday's Erik Boland, the Yankees shouldn't say, "How high?!" They should, however, engage and try to find a happy medium, thus shoring up their depth chart and finally -- finally -- bringing some balance to the lineup.
Yankees Rumors: Kevin Kiermaier wants to talk to Brian Cashman
Yankees fans: I get it. I'm one of you. You don't have to be angry all the time. You just have to be angry most of the time.
In this instance, I'd recommend saving your aggression for the end of the offseason. If Kiermaier is this limp team's centerpiece, while they nod at Oswaldo Cabrera in left field and say, "You got this, right chief?" Yes. You should be furious. You should buy a chicken bucket, eat the chicken, keep the bucket, fill it with nickels, and mail it directly to Hal Steinbrenner's personal address.
But if the team starts their offseason by turning their bench from "Eh, I don't know, put some true losers there and see what happens" to Gold Glover Kevin Kiermaier, thus rededicating themselves to improving the talent at every level rather than just the top veneer, you should be pumped.
Kiermaier is, and always has been, a gym rat who thrives on being slighted. Perhaps that's why he's always performed so well as the perceived underdog at Yankee Stadium, hitting .279 with an .848 OPS in 223 plate appearances over the past decade.
And, yes, he hits even better at Fenway Park (.308/.855, vs. .249/.718 career).
We've long known Kiermaier prefers to stay in the AL East and play on natural grass. Now, we know he'd like the Yankees' people to call his people, too.
So, what would you rather? Sign an excellent glove man and annoying left-handed bat for relative pennies, or let him torment you 13 times per year with the Boston Red Sox? The choice is easy. Save your anger for the end of the offseason.