The New York Yankees are always looking to add competition during spring training, especially in the outfield. They currently have Jay Bruce, Derek Dietrich, Brett Gardner, and others competing for that spot. While it is assumed that Garner already has a position locked up, there will likely be one final outfield spot for the taking.
The Yankees always like to add sluggers to their roster, who can supplement efficiencies offensively. With that being said, they are currently keeping tabs on Yoenis Cespedes, formally of the New York Mets. Cespedes played in just eight games last year before abruptly opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Reports also indicated he was upset over being benched by the Mets.
Cespedes is still keen on returning to the MLB and competing for a starting spot, and the Yankees don’t normally pass up on an opportunity to acquire a solid player for pennies on the dollar.
The former Met hosted a workout in Florida, with a number of teams attending.
According to Ken Davidoff of the NY Post:
Eleven teams, including the Yankees, had scouts on hand for Yoenis Cespedes’ workout as the slugging outfielder aims for another MLB chance.
Cespedes, 35, was out on the field for 50 minutes overall. He took fly balls in center and then left field before a batting practice session.
The last productive season Cespedes experienced was back in 2017 when he played in just 81 games. The last time he played over 100 games was in 2016 when he launched 31 homers and 86 RBIs, collecting a .280 average. He has had extreme success on offense in the past, but it has been four years since proving he can be an everyday player.
However, that is not what the Yankees are looking for currently, as they likely see him as a depth piece who can also feature as a DH in case Giancarlo Stanton suffers more injuries. I would also consider him a right fielding alternative in case Judge misses any time too. The Yankees do have Gardner, but I see him as more of a situational peace at this point in his career.