After a disappointing 82-80 season that barely kept their 22 season win streak alive, it's expected that the New York Yankees will make some major moves to supplement the roster this offseason. And even with the World Series barely over, the Yankees have already been linked to several of the top players expected to be available through trade or in free agency this winter.
Should Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office jump on some of these high-profile acquisitions, or should they stand pat and wait for a better opportunity? We'll evaluate the pros and cons of these high-profile targets for the Bombers.
Pros and cons of every potential big-name Yankees offseason acquisition
Juan Soto's San Diego Padres are coming off another disappointing season in which they finished just one game over .500 and let manager Bob Melvin take a job San Francisco. Considering Soto has just one year of team control left, GM A.J. Preller could be tempted to move him to clear $30 million in salary and acquire more assets to fuel a re-tool.
Pros: In 2023, Yankees left fielders put up a wRC+ of 75, a mark worse than every team in baseball except the Detroit Tigers. The revolving door of Oswaldo Cabrera, Aaron Hicks, Everson Pereira, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jake Bauers, and others didn't cut it offensively in the way the front office hoped when they elected not to acquire a left fielder during the offseason. Considering those results, almost any acquisition Brian Cashman makes would be an upgrade.
Soto had a 155 wRC+ in 2023, while outperforming Yankees left fielders' league-worst -1.2 fWAR mark by 6.7. The best option to hit the market in a long time, Soto would provide the Yankees with the disciplined, left-handed outfield bat they've been lacking for years. We could get into the weeds with other reasons that Soto is a great fit for this team, but this alone is enough to pull the trigger on a deal.
Cons: If the Padres do decide to deal Soto, it's likely that their asking price will be sky high. This is not to say that the Yankees should be wary of trading multiple valuable assets like Everson Pereira, Clarke Schmidt and/or Chase Hampton to acquire the generational talent that is Soto, but rather that the Yankees could find themselves in a bidding war of epic proportions to acquire one year of a player who won't instantly make them World Series favorites.
If the Yankees pay handsomely to acquire Soto and win the World Series in 2024, or are able to sign him to a long-term extension, fine. But they run the risk of paying that high price, not winning next year, then watching Soto walk in free agency.