The New York Yankees have taken a conservative approach toward filling the vacant left field spot, but management does seem to believe that Oswaldo Cabrera and Aaron Hicks can compete for the starting gig. Cabrera showcased elite defensive metrics in the outfield last season over 44 games, earning 9 defensive runs saved and 13 defensive runs saved across all positions. Hicks had another down year, making him unreliable at this point in time, especially with drastic decreases in slugging prowess.
Relying on Hicks to get the job done is an optimistic strategy, especially since Cabrera is far younger and should be able to replicate his offensive qualities if not improve. Going with a younger option should be an easy decision for the Bombers unless they look to make another move this off-season.
The Yankees have been heavily connected to Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but they nearly executed a trade for Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder, Daulton Varsho, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The Yankees would’ve gotten better if landed Varsho:
Clearly, general manager Brian Cashman is looking to make a deal, which is evident given they almost acquired Varsho, who ended up being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Varsho is an elite defensive outfielder, playing 920.1 innings last year, recording a .989 fielding percentage, 19 defensive runs saved, and 17 outs above average.
Offensively, Varsho has a lot left to be desired at 26 years old. He’s a lefty hitter who slashed .235/.302/.443 last season, hosting a 106 wRC+. He hit 27 homers across 151 games, including 74 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. His Steamer projections have him hitting 26 homers over 134 games next season, including a .235 average and .304 OBP, and 113 wRC+. He was a 4.6 WAR player in 2022.
This ultimately would’ve been a great deal for Cashman, plugging the left field spot with an elite defensive player that also has great power metrics. Obviously, it is no longer on the table, so the Yankees could turn their attention toward a player like Austin Meadows or Max Kepler. Both are a bit older and have their shortcomings while Varsho is on the rise, so for the time being, it seems as if Cashman will stick to his own guns.