The New York Yankees are still in the market for an outfielder, and while veteran Brett Gardner remains in play, the expectation is that they could consider alternative options.
The latest update on Gardner on their negotiations was a few weeks ago, as both sides feel confident they can strike a deal if they agree on a good price. General manager Brian Cashman is trying desperately to stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold, and Gardner could be asking for $5+ million in 2021. Considering the Yankees bought him out at $2.5 million instead of paying him $10 million for next season, they likely arenâ€™t willing to overspend.
A few alternative options have bubbled to the surface, and one of them is Yasiel Puig. Several weeks ago, the Yankees were reportedly interested in his services, but it seems as if they have dipped out of the race. The 6-foot-2 and 240-pound outfielder is 30 years old and didnâ€™t sign on with the team for the 2020 season, despite his desire to. His last major sample size was in 2019 when he played in 149 games and averaged .267. If he weren’t such a disgruntled employee, he would fit perfectly in the Yankee outfield, considering his immense power.
According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees have lost interest in Yasiel Puig:
The Royals are not in on Yasiel Puig. Which makes it a clean sweep. The 3 teams rumored to be in on Puig â€” Marlins, Yankees and Royals â€” are not interested. For his sake, hopefully there are teams.
Puig launched 24 HRs in 84 RBIs in 2019, with a relatively low strikeout rate. Itâ€™s a shame he canâ€™t stay a consistent teammate and not cause any problems, as his career could be illustrious.
Back we go to the Gardner debate, and it seems as if plenty of fans are ready to turn the chapter on the aging outfielder. He does offer a lefty bat and consistency in the injury department, which is a big positive.