Yankees general manager Brian Cashman knows that he must land two outfielders this off-season to bolster the roster. Whether that includes star slugger Aaron Judge or forces him to find two alternative options is yet to be seen, especially with things heating up at the winter meetings.
There are a multitude of free agents available, including Judge, Andrew Benintendi, Masataka Yoshida, and Brandon Nimmo. In fact, the Yankees are reportedly speaking with Nimmo at the winter meetings, just in case Judge elects to join the San Francisco Giants.
Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees have their sights set on acquiring two outfielders to feature in LF and RF.
“The Yankees are expected to meet with Brandon Nimmo here in San Diego. They are seeking two outfielders, so theoretically, they could sign both Judge and Nimmo — though that could possibly bloat their budget.”
The Yankees are doing their due diligence:
Landing, Judge and Nimmo seems to be a longshot given their hefty price tags, but one or the other is the more likely scenario. Nimmo, who is 29 years old, one year younger than Judge, hit .274, with a 36.7% on-base rate, 16 homers, and 64 RBIs this past season. Obviously, he is far from replicating Judge’s mammoth statistics, but he offers good offensive production and defensive qualities as the second-tier outfield option.
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Nimmo projects to land a deal around $100 million range over five years, paying him between $20-25 million per season. Judge is in line to earn upward of $37 million for obvious reasons, but the Yankees need to be confident in their backup plan in case this year’s MVP walks.
Obviously, Cashman will also be in contact with Benintendi and Yoshida, who is expected to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes once he’s approved.
“The Yankees also have talked about Andrew Benintendi and Japanese star Masataka Yoshida. Yoshida applied a few days ago to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes and is awaiting approval.”
However, Benintendi and Yoshida primarily feature in left field, so the right field spot would still be open for the taking, where the Yankees could even consider Oswaldo Cabrera after his electrifying start to his MLB career. Going from Judge to Cabrera is too much of a drop-off of the Yankees to sustain, though, so the premise of landing two new outfielders remains likely.