New York Mets Best Outfield Options On The Free Agent Market

New York Yankees, Kevin Pillar

The New York Mets desperately need a center fielder, and George Springer perfectly fits the mold. If the Mets strike out on Springer, what are their other options to fill a huge need in the outfield?

1. George Springer

There is no more convincing for the Mets to sign Springer. He is an improvement defensively and brings a proven postseason bat for a roster that lacks postseason experience. Springer is also a much needed right-handed power bat in the Mets lineup that perfectly balances their offense.

2. Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar is a significant downgrade from Springer, but his offensive production has improved over the last two seasons. Pillar has 27 home runs and a .440 slugging over the last two seasons. While Pillar’s defense has declined over the last few seasons, he is still an update from Brandon Nimmo. No disrespect to Pillar, but anyone not named George Springer would be a complete failure for center field.

3. Jackie Bradley Jr. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. is still a good defensive center fielder, but his offense is filled with inconsistency. 2020 was Bradley’s first season with an average over .270. His power numbers have also fluctuated over his career, which does not project him to be a major upgrade in center field. Bradley would be a lower walk rate, better defending version of Nimmo.

4. Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson is always a tremendous power threat but his center field days might be far behind him. Pederson only hit .190 in 2020 but came alive in the postseason with 15 hits. If the Mets choose to move J.D. Davis or the DH is implemented in the NL, Pederson is very much worth a look.

5. Michael Brantley

Michael Brantley is a huge shot in the dark for the Mets. But if you are going to have a horrible defense, why not try to win with overwhelming offense. The Mets offense would become the best in baseball with a .470+ sugging percentage hitter at every position. Signing Brantley would all but end Davis’s tenure in New York. Nimmo would remain in center while Brantley man’s left (if there is a DH). But you have got a better chance of landing a Play Station 5 than the Mets signing Brantley.

New York Yankees Analysis: If the Yankees don’t sign LeMahieu will they bring lefty bats to Yankee Stadium?

New York Yankees, Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs

The New York Yankees faced nearly unmeasurable losses last season with not fan revenues. Being strapped for money, the team will have to go through a transformation not recently seen if they want to get to postseason play in the 2021 baseball season. The Yankees have made it a priority to re-sign batting title holder DJ LeMahieu. Right next to that priority, they have to solve their pitching rotation behind last year’s major acquisition of Yankee ace Gerrit Cole.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, they also have questions at the backstop and backstop. Of somewhat lesser concern but still important is if the New York Yankees will address their left-handed hitters’ shortage. When the Yankees failed to bring back shortstop Didi Gregorius last season, it left the team with only Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks to hit from the plate’s left side. Now there is the danger of Brett Gardner not being with the team either. If the Yankees don’t work out a deal with Gardner, they will have only one left bat in the regular lineup.

The Yankees do have Mike Ford and Tyler Wade that are lefties, but after poor seasons from both of them in 2020, you will not likely see them in the lineup unless there are injuries. No matter how they work it out, the Yankees need at least one if not two left-hand hitters in the otherwise righty heavy lineup. There are two excellent free-agent options out there. Michael Brantley and Kyle Schwarber.

Kyle Schwarber:

Kyle Schwarber has been on the New York Yankees’ radar for some time. With all the outfield injuries in the last several years, general manager Brian Cashman has been actively interested in Schwarber. Still, he never could put a deal together to obtain him. When the Chicago Cubs surprisingly let him become a free agent, the Yankees really don’t have a great need for him.

Nevertheless, Schwarber could be a good addition to the lineup. Number one is that he is a lefty hitter. Schwarber has good power that can make an impact on any at-bat. He had 38 homers, a career-high, during the 2019 season and 11 during the shortened campaign last year. On the wrong side of the issue, the Cubs most likely let him go due to his .188 batting average last season.

Although the Yankees have plenty of outfielders, it would seem that there is no place for Schwarber. That is mostly true, but if you look at outfielders Stanton, Hicks, and Judge, you see the possibilities of injuries based on history. Having Schwarber in the mix would be helpful. Although he is not a utility player and can fill in at first base should Voit be injured, he could also give the injury-prone Gary Sanchez a rest as he has catching experience.

Another pro for Schwarber is that he stays healthy. In 2019 he played in 155 games of the 162 game season. The seven days off were for rest, not injuries. This past season he played in 59 of the 60 games played by the Chicago Cubs.

Michael Brantley:

Michael Brantley is a different story, he hasn’t been on the Yankees’ radar, but the team and front office are very familiar with the lefty; he had done a lot of damage to the Yankees during his time with the Houston Astros.

Buster Olney
@Buster_ESPN
The Yankees need more left-handed hitting, and among the players, they’ve had contact with: four-time All-Star Michael Brantley. But it seems possible that he would be a Plan B to D.J. LeMahieu; hard to imagine the Yankees would sign LeMahieu and Brantley.
Even if the Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu to the five-year contract he demands, the Yankees should also think seriously about signing Brantley. The hard-hitting Brantley is the perfect fit for the short porch at Yankees Stadium. Regardless of what Hal Steinbrenner says, the Yankees are not broke. Brantley would be a less costly addition to the lineup compared to LeMahieu. There is no reason the Yankees can’t have both. The other option is to let Brantley go to the rising Toronto Blues Jays with a strong interest in him. They had to face Brantley with the Astros; the Yankees don’t want to face him in their own division with the Jays.
Brantley’s only downside is that he is a left fielder, which the Yankees don’t need. However, with the up and coming Clint Frazier, he can play anywhere in the outfield. If the Yankees get creative, they could make it work.
The bottom line:
Here is this writer’s opinion. The New York Yankees need at least one more lefty bat whether they sign LeMahieu or not. My choice is to sign LeMahieu and Michael Brantley both. I would take Brantley over the overrated Schwarber any day of the week. Brantley, although not the home run hitter that Schwarber is, is very LeMahieu-like. He hit .300 this past season and has a career .297 batting average.

 

New York Yankees Weekend News Recap: Trevor Bauer, Gary Sanchez, Michael Brantley and more

New York Yankees, Michael Brantley

The New York Yankees and Trevor Bauer rumors persist. We are now in the MLB Winter Meeting that will last until December 10th. Until Trevor Bauer signs with a team, the talk of him landing with the Yankees won’t go away. It’s no secret that the Yankees need a true number two starter to fill out the rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole. With Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J. A. Happ all free agents, the Yankees will have to patch a rotation up for the coming season. Many industry experts feel the Yankees will make some deal to re-sign Masahiro Tanaka.

Although the Yankees have plenty of arms to fill the fourth and five spots in the rotation, they need help above that. The Yankees have a bevy of young talent. With the number of quality pitchers in free agency dwindling quickly, the Yankees should make some move this week. Although Bauer is not the perfect fit for the Yankees because of previous friction between him and Cole dating back to their college days, Cole and the Yankees can put that aside. Going into the postseason with Cole and Bauer as a one-two punch certainly is imposing.

There is a nightmare attached to this story. Other industry no-it-alls say that if Bauer doesn’t end up with the Yankees, his next likely landing place is the Boston Red Sox which would be terrible news for the Yankees.

Gary Sanchez up and down in Winter Ball

With all the interest in Gary Sanchez, you will want to get used to near-constant news coming out of the Dominican Republic on every strikeout and homer that takes place. He had a single but struck out three times in his league debut, going 1 for 5.  Sanchez, who turned 28 years old last week and now sports a thick beard, is playing winter ball to improve his game before next season.

On Saturday night, he hit a monster home run out of the Toros Del Este’s ballpark; his second in as many days.

Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are now repellers

The New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is known for taking part in charity events. A week ago, he spent the night sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground at Yankees Stadium to draw attention to the homeless youth.

On Friday, Cashman repelled down the Landmark building, a 22 story building in Stamford, Connecticut, in preparation for the Heights & Lights program to support downtown merchants and events. This is not the first time Cashman has participated in the scary repel. This year a terrified Yankee manager Aaron Boone accompanied the in the dangerous feat.

Archie Bradley, Marcell Ozuna, or Michael Brantley to the Yankees?

With this being Winter Meetings week, all the buzz is who will end up with the New York Yankees for the 2021 season. There are many names attached to rumors for landing stops for this year’s class of free agents.

With Tommy Kahnle gone for the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Yankees need to bolster their bullpen. One target might be Archie Bradley, a free agent from the Cincinnati Reds. He is a veteran reliever that is still in his prime. At 28 years old, he is one of the best relievers on the market. Like with the starting pitching, he needs to at least kick the tires on Bradley before he is gone.

If the Yankees wanted to add an active bat to the lineup, they would definitely want to take a look at Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna leads the National League in home runs with 18. He is one of the best hitters in free agency.  The Yankees’ Luke Voit lead all of baseball with his 22 home runs. Imagine the two most productive home run hitters in the same lineup. The Only problem with Ozuna is that the Yankees have plenty of outfielders. The Yankees with greater need will mostly let Ozuna go with another club.

If the Yankees fail to put together a deal for DJ LeMahieu, there is a suitable replacement in free agency. Michael Brantley is a free agency that has done damage to the Yankees while with the Houston Astros. They failed to give him a qualifying offer making him available to the Yankees. Brantley is a good fit for the short porch at right in Yankees Stadium; he is one of the best lefty hitters on the market. Another attractive thing with Brantley is he would be somewhat cheaper than LeMahieu.

New York Yankees need to act sooner than later

These virtual Winter Meetings are supposed to be quieter than normal. But for the Yankees, time is slipping away the prime free agents already signing even before this week. Should these meetings be more productive than expected, the Yankees could find themselves with their pants down.

The Yankees were very interested in Charlie Morton on a short term contract. Morton is a good pitcher with great postseason experience. The Rays wouldn’t exercise his $15 million option, so he signed for that amount with the Atlanta Braves within days. Gausman and Stroman have also signed. Teams didn’t have much money after bad losses last season, but at the same time, they will pick up any bargains they can find and will do it quickly.

 

 

 

New York Yankees: Two left-fielders to pursue in Free Agency

New York Yankees, Michael Brantley

With the MLB postseason beginning to wind down, it means that the off-season is quickly approaching. This years free-agency market is set to be a big one with some huge names hitting the open market.

The New York Yankees are no exception, as some of their best players, such as DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka, are free agents. However, the Yankees could still use a few pieces this winter, and there are some new names they could pursue.

Although Clint Frazier had a breakout 2020 season, there’s still some uncertainty on who will play left-field in 2021. It could be Frazier, or the Yankees could resign Brett Gardner. The other option would be to pursue a free-agent, and there are two stars hitting the open market that the team could pursue.

Michael Brantley

Brantley, 33, is coming off his second season as a Houston Astro. Prior to signing with Houston, he was a long-time outfielder for the Cleveland Indians.

In 170 at-bats in 2020, Brantley hit .300 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in. In 2019, he bat .311 with 22 home runs and 90 RBIs. He’s a great situational hitter, something the Yankees lack in their offense.

Brantley is also a good defender, racking up 15 defensive runs saved as a member of the Astros.

Marcell Ozuna

The 29-year-old Ozuna had an MVP caliber season in 2020, batting .338 while leading the NL in home runs (18) and RBIs (56).  He’s shown some inconsistency between seasons, but he could be a risk worth taking.

The only problem with Ozuna can be his defense. He has -2 defensive runs saved in 2020, but on the other hand, won a gold glove in 2017.

His defensive inconsistency could lead to him signing with an AL team, so he doesn’t have to play the field as much. However, if the NL keeps the DH, it may not matter where he goes. If he came to New York, he would have to play the field as Giancarlo Stanton will be the DH most days.

The Yankees have a few options on how to fill left-field in 2021, but pursing a free-agent like Brantley or Ozuna could improve the team the most.

New York Yankees: 2021 Free Agents, who should the Yankees consider?

The New York Yankees have their lineup set for the delayed 2020 baseball season and, to a lesser degree, the pitching rotation.  The area they must address as the season finally starts is pitching.  The starting rotation will be led by newly acquired Gerrit Cole followed by either Masahiro Tanaka or James Paxton, and then fourth in the rotation will be J.A. Happ and most likely Jordan Montgomery bringing up the rear.

The only question is whether Paxton will be ready for the start of the season as he is still rehabbing from back surgery. If he’s not, the Yankees will have to consider Jonathan Loaisiga, Clarke Shmidt, Micheal King, or even Dievi Garcia.  Some relief will come late in the season when Domingo German returns from his suspension.

There are a few concerns the New York Yankee will need to address during the season.  The major one is how Gleyber Torres will fair in his first full year at short.  The Yankees decided not to trade for a veteran shortstop when they lost Didi Gregorius to free agency.  They put their faith in Torres, hoping he could adequately handle the position.  They may have to look at 2021 free agents to fill the spot if Torres fails.

Other areas of concern include if Kyle Higashioka can handle the job of backup catcher assuming Gary Sanchez has his usual injuries.  The Yankees lost Austin Romine to the Tigers.  Another questionable job is that of the left-fielder. With Giancarlo Stanton’s durability in question that leaves Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier to fill in.  Should Stanton become a permanent DH, the Yankees may be looking for a left-fielder.

Looking at the shortstop position, the New York Yankees should consider free agent Marcus Semien.  Semien signed a one year $13,000,000 contract with the Oakland Athletics last year.  Semien is a very adequate shortstop with a .981 fielding percentage compared to Torre’s meager .954.  Torres hit 38 homers, and Semien hit 33 although Semien has a higher batting average.  Overall, Semien would be an upgrade over Gleyber Torres.  Semien actually has a better fielding percentage at short than the superstar Francisco Lindor.

As for catcher Yadier Molina of the famous Milina brothers will be available after the 2020 season.  However, it is likely he would be a short term fix as he is now 38 years old.  A better choice would be the Phillies J.T. Realmuto, who is just 29.  Realmuto has a better batting average than “Higgy,” and he hit 25 home runs last year.  The biggest plus is that he, by way of stats, is a better catcher than Gary Sanchez with a superb fielding percentage of .992, making him one of the best fielding catchers in the business.  The only downside is that the Yankees may not want to pay a backup catcher $10MM.

When considering the New York Yankees outfield, the Yankees are not in a dire situation but still may wish to bolster it by going out and getting a veteran left-fielder.  There will be several available in 2021.  My pick would be Yoenis Cespedes, but there is no way the Yankees will anty up the $30MM salary he will demand.  That leaves the 32-year-old Michael Brantley, who is an 11 year veteran of left-field play.  Brantley has a fantastic .992 fielding percentage while hitting .311 last year with the Houston Astros and hitting 22 home runs.

Whatever the case, the New York Yankees will be watching these positions very closely this year and, as always, will be looking to improve the team during the 2020-21 postseason if necessary.

New York Yankees: One free agent in 2021 to solve the left field position

New York Yankees, Michael Brantley

The New York Yankees could resort to free agency next year to fill the left-field position.

At this point, relying on Giancarlo Stanton to consistently fill the left-field position for the New York Yankees is a pipe-dream. Consistent injuries and ailments have popped up in recent years, limiting his reps and defensive harmony.

Stanton picked up a calf strain before Grapefruit League even started this past offseason and was projected to miss some time as the injury healed. Expecting him to remain healthy is a hopeful projection, leading us to the 2021 free agency class to fill the spot.

Before we dive into one specific player I have in mind; it’s important to note that the Yanks still have Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar available if need be. I wouldn’t bet my chips that Andujar can be the starting defender and portray a sense of security. Frazier is a more realistic option to take over and earn a starting role, but his inconsistencies have hurt his development at times.

Alternatively, the Bombers could elect to trade Frazier or Andujar and seek out a player like Michael Brantley in 2021. The Houston Astros left fielder posted a great 2019 season — .311 BA, 575 AB, 88 runs, 179 hits, 40 doubles, 2 triples, 22 HR, 90 RBI, 41 BB, 66 K, .875 OPS, over 148 games. The four-time All-Star has World Series experience and is a consistent threat at the plate. Slotting Stanton into the DH spot would allow the Yankees to mitigate injury concern to a degree and plug in an all-around great player with motivating defensive traits — good arm and fielding.

There’s always the Brett Gardner saga, which will likely never end as he transitions to a coaching role. I love Gardy, so there’s no complaining on this side of the fence! Manager Aaron Boone has the option to pick up Gardner’s 2021 season for $10.5 million, but investing in Brantley for a bit more cash might be the more efficient move. At 32-years-old, the Astro has plenty of time left in his prime.