Yankees can spend under $1 million to fix major outfield problem

mlb: toronto blue jays at new york yankees, estevan florial
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are in a promising position with over $50 million available this off-season for roster enhancements. While there’s talk of short extensions for Frankie Montas and Luis Severino, letting them transition into free agency could free up nearly $20 million. These funds could potentially be invested in talents like Yoshinobu Yamamoto or geared towards bolstering the batting order, which had its challenges backing Aaron Judge this season.

However, the front office faces a challenging path. They need to rectify the consequences of some less-than-stellar decisions in recent years. They certainly have the financial muscle; the challenge lies in making judicious decisions and avoiding burdensome contracts or over-reliance on veterans past their prime.

Estevan Florial: The Cost-Efficient Solution

An astute move might involve leveraging Estevan Florial to offset the anticipated absence of Jasson Dominguez for a portion of the 2024 season. Florial, the 25-year-old prospect, is witnessing increasing opportunities in the MLB, featuring in 15 games this season, with 14 of those being more recent.

Florial’s stats make for encouraging reading: a batting average of .250, OBP of .351, and contributions including seven RBIs. His current figures also highlight a 26.3% strikeout rate, 10.5% walk rate, and a wRC+ of 102. While he hasn’t showcased extraordinary power, his consistency on base and improvements in batting average and strikeout rate are notable.

Historically, Florial’s challenges centered on his swing-and-miss tendencies and a tad too much zeal. However, his recent performances hint at him becoming more at ease with MLB dynamics, showing metrics that promise potential. While this is based on a limited sample, it’s undoubtedly uplifting for the Yankees, who’ve been eagerly awaiting Florial’s potential to shine through.

If Florial maintains his impressive September form up to the regular season finale against the Kansas City Royals, it could bolster his case for a significant role during spring training. While he may not be the definitive answer to the Yankees’ outfield quandaries, his presence, especially when Giancarlo Stanton isn’t fielding regularly, can be invaluable.

Moreover, Florial’s projected 2024 season price tag of approximately $720K makes him a budget-friendly asset, giving the Yankees more financial headroom for other pursuits.

Perfect World Scenario for the Yankees

Ideally, the Yankees’ off-season would witness the acquisition of a formidable batter and a top-notch starting pitcher, complemented by a few potential-rich depth players. This aspiration, while demanding, isn’t far-fetched, especially with a $50 million purse to draw from.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: