The New York Yankees are waiting patiently to find a solution in left field, despite management suggesting Aaron Hicks could take over once again in 2023.
“We are prepared to go with what we have internally. Aaron Hicks has rehabbed his knee from the injury in the postseason.”Per Brian Cashamn on Wednesday.
It is important to note that general manager Brian Cashman tends to make optimistic comments regarding players who might be on their way out or left out of their plans entirely. He’s coming off several years of poor play and is owed $30 million over the next three seasons. The Yankees cannot continue relying on his services as an everyday starter, which is why they’ve had interest in a multitude of LF options this offseason.
The Yankees are still prowling on the market but Bryan Reynolds is their dream acquisition:
The Bombers were heavily connected to Andrew Benintendi, but management didn’t want to give him five years at $18 million per season. They allowed him to walk, but the free agents have slowly been plucked off the market, with Michael Conforto the last remaining high-upside target.
There’s another way for Cashman to solve the position, though, via trade. The Yankees have been heavily connected to Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins, but they’re also trying to strike a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bryan Reynolds.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, the Yankees want to make a deal with Pittsburgh for Reynolds:
They also remain hopeful about getting a deal done with the Pirates for star left fielder Bryan Reynolds, but the Yankees haven’t gotten the impression that Pittsburgh has been seriously considering moving Reynolds despite his request to be traded.
Reynolds would give the Yankees the best outfield in baseball without question. At 27 years old, he hit .262 with a 34.5% on-base rate this past season, slugging a career-high 27 homers with 62 RBIs. He played in 145 games, earning a 23% strikeout rate and a 9.1% walk rate. In 2021, though, he hit .302 with a 39% on-base rate, 24 homers, and 90 RBIs. He logged a 141 wRC+ and 6.1 WAR.
There is no question that Reynolds is one of the up-and-coming top outfielders in the game, so acquiring him would cost the Yankees a tremendous haul.
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Mock trade for Reynolds:
- Jasson Dominguez OF
- Everson Pereria OF
- Trey Sweeney SS
- Will Warren RHP
- Clarke Schmidt RHP
To secure Reynolds, the Yankees would have to give up some of their top prospects, notably outfielders Jasson Dominguez, Everson Pereira, and a starting-level pitcher in Clarke Schmidt.
This trade would essentially tool the Pirates for the future, but the Yankees would be in the immediate conversation for a World Series title in 2023. Of course, the Yankees simply can’t guarantee they will make the postseason let alone the World Series, but a team of that caliber, including Reynolds, would give them enough firepower to hit in high-leverage moments against teams like the Houston Astros.
The Yanks would have team control over Reynolds until 2026, and at such a cheap price point, given his value and quality, it would keep their salary situation down as well.
They may try to offload one of their bloated contracts in the process, notably Hicks, who is prepared to earn $10.5 million for the upcoming season. If they could clear some salary space, the team might be able to justify the move a bit more, especially since they would have to pillage their farm system to get it done.