The New York Yankees arenâ€™t done making moves yet, and with spring training just around the corner, we should expect GM Brian Cashman to be active in the coming days. The expectation is that he will allocate resources toward the outfield, as the Yankees are currently set to roll with Clint Frazier as their starting left-fielder in 2021.
The question is, should we feel confident with Frazier starting on a daily basis, or should Cashman bring in reinforcements just in case? The Yankees do still have Mike Tauchman as an option to utilize, but the LF position has been spotty the past few seasons.
There are still some free agents available the Yankees could consider on cost-efficient deals, but with minimal money left over after trading away Adam Ottavino in a salary dump, acquiring a starting-caliber player is likely off the table.
Three outfielders the Yankees could sign in the coming days:
1.) Brett Gardner
The easiest move for the Yankees would be to bring back Brett Gardner for one more season. They already rejected his $10 million option for the 2021 season, electing to take his $2.5 million buyout. With that being said, the 37-year-old will have to return on a cheap, veteran deal if he wants to play one more season in pinstripes. The Yankees arenâ€™t ready to splash the cash on his services at this point, so they might look to a different player who is willing to take less money.
2.) Ben Gamel
Ben Gamel might raise your eyebrows, considering he was drafted in the 10th round back in 2010 by the Yankees. He spent the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, earning a .237 batting average last season over 40 games. He isnâ€™t the most efficient and productive player, but he can fill a reserve role behind Frazier. He would also be extremely cheap, but he has struggled with strikeouts the past two seasons.
3.) Matt Kemp
Another veteran option is Matt Kemp, who played for the Colorado Rockies in 2020. He finished with a .239 average, six homers, and 21 RBIs. He did log a career-high 31.1% strikeout rate but also a personal best 11.4% walk rate. He is two years removed from a .290 average of 21 homers with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but those days seem to be behind him. At 36 years old, heâ€™s only a smidge younger than Gardy, and his defense isnâ€™t as proficient as the Yankee veteran. Based on these numbers, the Yankees are better off offering Gardner just enough to bring him back.