Regrettably, Cashman was unsuccessful in strengthening the left field position during the past winter. The hope was that either Aaron Hicks or Oswaldo Cabrera would become the full-time occupants of the spot.
Since that time, Hicks has been removed from the roster, finding a new home with the Baltimore Orioles. Meanwhile, Oswaldo has primarily served in a reserve capacity, having been demoted to Triple-A Scranton on several occasions.
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Yankees targeting Dylan Carlson?
Nevertheless, with the St. Louis Cardinals anticipated to be sellers at the trade deadline, the Yankees might target 24-year-old OF Dylan Carlson. With four years remaining on his contract and amid a productive fourth MLB season, Carlson is a promising prospect.
Acquiring Carlson won’t come cheap. However, his current season stats, including a .241 average, .342 OBP, five home runs, 20 RBIs, a 10.4% walk rate, and 103 wRC+ make him an attractive proposition. Despite his power numbers experiencing a slight decline, he hit a career-best 18 home runs in 2021, and the Yankees may be able to reignite this aspect of his game.
Analyzing Carlson’s Upside
The potential with Carlson is undoubtedly evident. He currently boasts a 37.8% hard-hit rate, a 7.9% barrel rate, an average exit velocity of 89.2, and a launch angle of 12.3°. Additionally, his switch-hitting capability enhances his appeal, particularly in Yankee Stadium with its short right porch.
Defensively, Carlson has clocked 2892.1 total innings in the outfield, including 160.2 in left field. The bulk of his time has been spent in center and right field, where his performance has been about average. However, the Yankees aren’t seeking an exceptional defensive outfielder; rather, they need an above-average batter who can invigorate their offense. Ideally, this would be a player under control, not facing imminent free agency.
Estimating the Price for Carlson
The primary question is Carlson’s worth and what the Cardinals might expect in return. The Yankees would certainly need to offer several promising prospects on the rise. Likely candidates include outfielder Everson Pereira, right-handed pitcher Drew Thorpe, and first baseman TJ Rumfield.
There might be various player combinations to lure Carlson from the Cardinals, but his considerable potential, undervalued power, and consistent above-average performance over the last three seasons make him a prime target.
Potential Open Market Opportunities
Brian Cashman will have opportunities to enhance the outfield on the open market. His willingness to leverage some of the Yankees’ bright prospects will be key. While Carlson may not single-handedly make the Yankees World Series contenders, he undeniably fills an immediate gap and could be a valuable contributor until his free agency in 2027.