The New York Yankees are in desperate need of some upgrades this offseason and by all indications, the Bombers are going to be very active this winter. It’s already been widely reported that New York has engaged the Padres in trade talks for superstar outfielder Juan Soto and we know they like free agent outfielder Cody Bellinger.
From a starting pitching standpoint, they seem to be all in on Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Of course, they are going to find themselves in a bidding war for Yamamoto with the Mets and virtually any other team with deep pockets who wants starting pitching.
MLB Insider Jon Heyman said yesterday that he expects the Yankees to make a big splash this offseason. He talked about how Soto, Yamamoto, and Bellinger are their three top targets and indicated that he believes they will walk away with two of them. Of course, some raised their eyes at that because the general thought was that New York would get one of Soto / Bellinger and then get pitching.
However, there is a path and a way to get both players in pinstripes. In fact, it actually works out better than a lot of people realize.
Yankees could get both Soto and Bellinger?
The Yankees know that it’s going to take a ton of money to get Yamamoto and they seem ready to get that deal done. They also are expecting to make a splash to upgrade the outfield which indicates that they are willing to do two big deals at the minimum this offseason. Well, let’s say they whiff on Yamamoto. The play could be getting Bellinger and Soto.
Right field is set for the Yankees and if they get Soto, the other corner spot would be set. By the way, if the Yankees do get Soto, I would fully expect them to extend him for virtually the rest of his career. I don’t see them getting Soto as a rental. So, that leaves centerfield. That would be where Bellinger could play this upcoming season.
Imagine starting the season with an outfield of Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Cody Bellinger. Sounds pretty good right? Well, what about the Yankees superstar younger Jasson Dominguez who was tearing it up in centerfield before tearing his UCL and needing Tommy John? Well, that’s where Bellinger’s experience at first base becomes huge.
Anthony Rizzo is signed through next season with club option for 2025. The Yankees could sign Bellinger to play the outfield this year with the plans to move him to first base after the 2024 season to allow Dominguez to come back and play center. Long term, this works out perfectly and you add two elite left handed bats by going this route.
I don’t expect the Yankees to get Soto and Bellinger, but the play is there and there’s a depth chart where it makes all the sense in the world if they can pull it off. I actually believe or have quiet confidence that they’ll get Yamamoto, but if they don’t, I don’t hate the idea of using the money on Soto and Bellinger.