The New York Yankees now have the San Francisco Giants as fellow players in the mix to acquire South Korean OF sensation Jung Hoo-Lee this offseason.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Hoo-Lee will be pursued by the Giants front office:
Hoo-Lee Brings MVP Level Play to Yankees, Giants, and Other MLB Suitors
Hoo-Lee has dominated the KBO League as a member of the Kiwoom Heroes franchise. He won the 2017 Rookie of the Year award and developed into the 2022 KBO MVP. He is a five-time Golden Glove winner and has produced at a high level at the plate and in the field.
A hitter for average, Hoo-Lee sports a career .340 batting average across seven seasons as a pro. He’s been phenomenal at putting points on the board with 83 runs and over 75 RBIs averaged per season. He’s reached 100 or more RBI’s in two individual seasons.
Hoo-Lee had seen equal time at all three spots in the outfield from 2017 to 2020 before becoming fixated on center field from 2021 onward. Hoo-Lee has yet to have a season where he’s committed more than three errors and is currently sporting an impressive .995 fielding percentage.
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Yankees Could Solve Outfield Conundrum With the Addition of Hoo-Lee
Hoo-Lee would be a major addition to the Yankees as they seek upgrades next to Judge in the outfield. Being able to man all three slots would give the Yankees versatility with a superior glove to take away scoring opportunities from opponents. Additionally, he’d solve their RBI issue as he set the Heroes’ single-season franchise record with 49 doubles in 2020 and has been productive throughout.
Nevertheless, with the Giants coming away with the third-worst collective batting average among all teams (.235) in 2023 and failing to put together a strong offensive showing, Hoo-Lee will likely be high on their priority list. Should the Yankees miss out on their other outfield targets, namely San Diego Padres LF Juan Soto and Chicago Cubs OF Cody Bellinger, the Giants will have a battle on their hands to acquire the Korean star.