The New York Yankees still have a gaping hole in their outfield for 2023. Andrew Benintendi and Michael Brantley both came off the board this past weekend when they signed deals with the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.
From a free agency standpoint, Benintendi was the Yankees’ top choice. However, the word is that New York was not willing to go beyond three years for Benintendi. When Benintendi was getting five-year offers, the expectation was that he would not be returning to the Bronx.
Michael Conforto is the last real option in the pool of free agents. While the Yankees have kicked the tires there, they don’t appear to be in the thick of things with Conforto. It’s becoming increasingly likely that the starting left fielder next year will come via trade.
Yankees Top Choice
So, what do we know as of right now in terms of the Yankees chase for their next left fielder? We know that New York has been in contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks about their outfield options. Daulton Varsho, Alek Thomas, and Jake McCarthy are all options for Brian Cashman.
However, to this point, talks haven’t advanced. The one name that keeps popping out is Pittsburg’s Bryan Reynolds. Brendan Kuty of NJ.Com reported over the weekend that the Yankees are “hopeful” that they can pull off a deal for Reynolds. The ask thus far has been astronomical, but it’s worth noting that the Yanks and Pirates have a history of doing business.
We know that Brian Cashman loves trading with certain teams and the Pirates are one of them. From the beginning of the Winter Meetings, the Yankees have been in on Bryan Reynolds. However, things have been quiet and reportedly the ask of the Pirates has been equivalent to what the Nationals got for Juan Soto.
I love Bryan Reynolds, but he’s not Juan Soto and the Pirates have no business asking for that. One thing I’ll say is that I guarantee that price comes down. Even then, there’s no guarantee he moves. The Yankees have been increasingly quiet in terms of their outfield pursuit, but I think you’re going to see them start to get aggressive.
Priority one this offseason was Aaron Judge and they got him re-signed. From there, they turned to Carlos Rodon and signed him. Priority three is getting an impact left fielder and Bryan Reynolds is their top target. So far, they are 2 for 2 in landing their target in an offseason where they are really going for it.
To secure Reynolds, Cashman is going to have to make a deal that hurts the Yankees’ farm. He hasn’t been willing to do that in the past, but this offseason feels different. There feels like more of an urgency to put the best team on the field next year.
I have no insight on where talks are with the Yankees and Pirates, however, from talking to people who were at the Winter Meetings and reading the tea leaves, it’s clear that Reynolds is their guy. Just a matter of whether the two sides can come together and make something happen.