The New York Yankees are still searching for answers this off-season ahead of free agency. The team will have plenty of financial funding to improve the roster around Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole, their primary cornerstone pieces. It is no secret that the Yankees have already done their due diligence on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and the need for an above-average bat in the outfield is front and center.
Yankees’ Interest in Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Yamamoto would likely cost upwards of $150 million, but the Yankees may want to target international outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee, a 25-year-old with elite plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills. In addition, he’s earned five consecutive Gold Gloves for his defensive prowess in the KBO, a measurement that is more likely to transition than any offensive production.
“We’ve traded away too many guys the last few years,” Steinbrenner said in August.
However, owner Hal Steinbrenner is keen on getting back on track, which is why he stopped Brian Cashman from trading away any players at the deadline this past August. However, if a deal for Juan Soto is on the table and the Yankees need to trade away any prospects, it’ll be difficult for Hal to say no.
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According to Bob Klapisch of NJ.com, Steinbrenner is expected to answer more questions this off-season. The external audit that the Yankees are undergoing is simply a comparison of notes between analytical firms, so it is safe to say we won’t see sweeping changes in the front office and major strategic shifts. Of course, the Yankees know that changes are needed, and the way they evaluate talent must pivot, but the early reports of a massive overhaul are falling by the wayside.
At the very least, Steinbrenner needs to voice his concern about the team’s long-term strategy and investing in aging, expensive talent. But it will be interesting to see the changes that are implemented and if Steinbrenner is keen on leading the charge in that regard. We haven’t seen him this active in his role in some time, but it is necessary for him to take control and rally his troops, especially some of the executives who have assisted in building such an incompetent roster over the past few years.