The Yankees have undoubtedly experienced their share of struggles early this season. With a 17-15 record, their offense has left much to be desired when they take the field. Despite a recent comeback victory, the team’s morale remains low.
This season, the Yankees’ lineup has revealed several glaring weaknesses, particularly in the outfield, which has been exceptionally disappointing.
Before their latest game against Cleveland, the Yankees had one of the worst offensive outfields in baseball, if not the worst. Their outfielders had a combined 59 OPS+, the lowest in the league. Oswaldo Cabrera has struggled significantly, evidenced by his .504 OPS and 34 wRC+. Unfortunately, this is not even the worst performance among the outfielders.
Hicks continues to underperform, contributing almost nothing this season with a wRC+ of 3, an OPS of .357, and only one RBI. IKF has a marginally better wRC+ at 19 but remains a -0.4 fWAR player despite limited starts. The outfield situation is dire, with few options available. However, as trade season approaches, two potential targets could bolster the Yankees’ outfield.
Cody Bellinger could energize the Yankees:
Cody Bellinger has been the subject of discussion among fans of teams with high aspirations this season. Although the Cubs are currently playing decently with a 15-14 record, it is unlikely they will remain competitive in the coming months. Bellinger could be a valuable acquisition for any team, particularly the Yankees. He has had an excellent start to the season, dispelling rumors of his decline.
Bellinger boasts a 158 wRC+, 7 HR, 1.5 fWAR, and a .973 OPS. While the Cubs may not actively seek to trade him, they could consider doing so if their playoff chances dwindle. Additionally, Bellinger is on a one-year deal, and the Cubs’ intentions regarding his future with the team are unclear. Bellinger could address several of the Yankees’ issues, providing another left-handed hitter with impressive pull power.
Gavin Sheets could be a potential target for the Yankees from the struggling White Sox:
Another player the Yankees should consider is Gavin Sheets from the White Sox. With the White Sox performing poorly this season and rumors of division in the clubhouse, the Yankees might be able to acquire Sheets at a relatively low cost. The White Sox currently have a 9-21 record and have made numerous changes to their lineup and overall 26-man roster. Although Anderson’s injury has played a part, his return alone will not save their season. The White Sox might consider trading Sheets for a prospect in the deal.
Gavin was once one of their top prospects, but he has struggled to adapt to the MLB in recent years. However, this season, he is performing better than in previous years. He has a 112 wRC+ and plays defense at a passable level, making him a suitable option for a corner outfield spot on the Yankees. Sheets has a .751 OPS, a .280 batting average, a 10.5% BB%, and a 14.0% K%. Additionally, he possesses solid power, even with his current career-worst iSO of .120.
The Yankees need to make changes and introduce new faces, either through promotions or acquisitions. Their current outfield lineup is not working, and with Bader now healthy, they could commit to something new. Players like Dunham and Pereira could be options in the future, and before his injury, Jake Bauers had an opportunity to prove himself. The team must improve in several areas before they can be considered potential contenders.