For the second straight off-season, the New York Yankees are going to say no thanks to pursuing Yoenis Cespedes.
Despite earlier reports in the month that linked the New York Mets outfielder to the Yankees, the latest report from Christian Red the New York Daily News have stated that the Yankees have no plans to make a run for Cespedes.
“But don’t expect free-agent Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes to be one of the Yankees’ targets, despite Cashman saying last week that he’s “talked to Cespedes’ agent (Brodie Van Wagenen)” and that the two sides would talk again. The Daily News has learned that Cespedes — who earlier this month opted out of his three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets — is not part of the Yankees’ winter spending plans despite speculation that the Bombers could make a run for the 31-year-old outfielder.”
Getting Cespedes would certainly help the Yankees offense, as he’s a 30-plus home run hitter and over 100 RBI hitter consistently. But he would represent a plan of attack for the franchise that they have tried to get away from.
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10 years ago, the Yankees were known for making the biggest splurges in free agency; Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira. But the Yankees aren’t operating like they used to. This past summer, they traded away Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova and Carlos Beltran as part of a salary and roster purge to get younger for the future.
Earlier in the month, the Yankees traded Brian McCann to the Houston Astros and are trying to trade both Chase Headley and Brett Gardner to move more salary for veteran players. In years past, the Yankees wouldn’t be trading away players, but instead, add players to ensure they make the postseason.
Cespedes on the 2017 Yankees makes no sense, especially since they want to trade one veteran outfielder in Gardner and if given the opportunity, they’d jump at the chance to shed Jacoby Ellsbury’s albatross of a contract, but given the fact that he’s injury prone and production has dropped off, it’s not exactly a deal teams are looking to take on.
The Yankees already have outfielders who are expected to be considered the future of the team; Aaron Judge got his feet wet in the majors this past season and they have Clint Frazier coming up. Plus the team has Dustin Fowler and Blake Rutherford in the system who will be up in the next few years, so an outfielder like Cespedes isn’t a necessity and doesn’t fit into the Yankees current and future plans.
The team may end up bringing Beltran back on a short-term deal, but if they do, it will be for the designated hitter spot and not to play right field; Judge will likely be taking over the right field duties so long as he’s healthy and able to.
Even if the team did find a taker for Gardner this winter, they still don’t have a need for Cespedes and adding $25 million per season when they already have a 33-year-old Ellsbury making $21 million for another four seasons.
Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner are being very smart about the way things are being run in New York, as it’s a new way of doing things in the Bronx; a better way. And that way doesn’t include an older outfielder who represents an antiquated way of running a baseball franchise.