The New York Yankees could resort to free agency next year to fill the left-field position.
At this point, relying on Giancarlo Stanton to consistently fill the left-field position for the New York Yankees is a pipe-dream. Consistent injuries and ailments have popped up in recent years, limiting his reps and defensive harmony.
Stanton picked up a calf strain before Grapefruit League even started this past offseason and was projected to miss some time as the injury healed. Expecting him to remain healthy is a hopeful projection, leading us to the 2021 free agency class to fill the spot.
Before we dive into one specific player I have in mind; it’s important to note that the Yanks still have Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar available if need be. I wouldn’t bet my chips that Andujar can be the starting defender and portray a sense of security. Frazier is a more realistic option to take over and earn a starting role, but his inconsistencies have hurt his development at times.
Alternatively, the Bombers could elect to trade Frazier or Andujar and seek out a player like Michael Brantley in 2021. The Houston Astros left fielder posted a great 2019 season — .311 BA, 575 AB, 88 runs, 179 hits, 40 doubles, 2 triples, 22 HR, 90 RBI, 41 BB, 66 K, .875 OPS, over 148 games. The four-time All-Star has World Series experience and is a consistent threat at the plate. Slotting Stanton into the DH spot would allow the Yankees to mitigate injury concern to a degree and plug in an all-around great player with motivating defensive traits — good arm and fielding.
There’s always the Brett Gardner saga, which will likely never end as he transitions to a coaching role. I love Gardy, so there’s no complaining on this side of the fence! Manager Aaron Boone has the option to pick up Gardner’s 2021 season for $10.5 million, but investing in Brantley for a bit more cash might be the more efficient move. At 32-years-old, the Astro has plenty of time left in his prime.