The New York Yankees obviously have priorities once the lockout ends for which positions they need to fill immediately. With a ton of talent going off the board before the lockout commenced, general manager Brian Cashman realized that he will have to be aggressive with his second opportunity, especially since the team needs another starting pitcher.
They also desperately need an upgraded shortstop, with Carlos Correa and Trevor Story representing the two best targets for Cashman. However, he allowed several players to walk this off-season, including Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, and Tyler Wade. With most of their depth now hitting the streets and signing elsewhere, the Yankees will have to find serviceable replacements.
One option that could be intriguing is New York Mets utility man Jeff McNeil. The Mets have placed McNeil on the trade block prior to the 2021–22 season.
McNeil is an intriguing player that can play multiple spots, including in the outfield and infield. The former 12th round pick in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft has played four seasons in the MLB with the Mets in Queens.
He featured in 120 games this past season, posting a .251 average with seven homers and 35 RBIs.
McNeil’s best season came back in 2019 when he hit .318 with 23 homers, 75 RBIs, and 75 strikeouts over 567 plate appearances. With a 13.6% strikeout rate last year, he showed patience at the plate and solid contact, recording 70 singles and 19 doubles.
However, his defensive attributes also stand out as attractive, having experience at second, third, and all three outfield spots. In 2021, he featured predominantly at second base and left field. He would be a perfect replacement for Tyler Wade, offering more power given his double-digit homers in 2019 and a bit more diversity with his bat as a lefty.
The Yankees and Mets don’t usually connect on trades, but McNeil might be a perfect solution for the Bombers, giving them what they seek in a utility man.