MLB Rumors: Yankees locked on all-in pursuit with top-tier free agent

The New York Yankees are reportedly going to go all out to sign one of the top outfield options available in free agency.
Nov 7, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to the media
Nov 7, 2023; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to the media / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2016, and fans are far from happy with how the team has been built in recent years. While owner Hal Steinbrenner was vague about the changes that could be coming across the organization, general manager Brian Cashman loudly defended his operation and that contrary to fan and media belief, he says they're doing "pretty f***ing good." During Cashman's rant with reporters at the General Manager meetings, he did reveal that they needed two outfielders, "preferably left-handed."

As it turns out, they are determined to get one of the best left-handed outfielders available.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi appeared on "Hot Stove" and said he believes the Yankees "will be there until the very end" on free agent outfielder Cody Bellinger this offseason.

Yankees will reportedly 'be there until the very end' on Cody Bellinger this offseason

Bellinger is coming off of a great 2023 season with the Chicago Cubs. The former 2019 NL MVP wasn't retained by the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he had dealt with a variety of injuries during his final years with the team. Last year, he signed a one-year, $17.5 million contract withe Cubs.

In 130 games for the Cubs, Bellinger recorded a .307 batting average, a .356 on-base percentage, a .525 slugging percentage, 26 home runs, 95 runs, 97 RBI, 153 hits, 87 strikeouts, and 40 walks in 499 at-bats. Bellinger won a Silver Slugger for the second-time of his career, and won the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.

The Yankees have a desperate need for outfield help. Left field was a revolving door after the team failed to bring in a quality starting option last year, and resorted to using 10 different players at the position. As for center field, there is a vacancy left by Harrison Bader, who was waived by the team in late August. Bellinger would slot in easily in the Yankees outfield, but there will be questions about whether he can keep up at the pace he set this past season.

As for other teams interested in Bellinger, USA Today's Bob Nightengale listed the Cubs and the San Francisco Giants as the favorites to sign Bellinger alongside the Yankees.

The Cubs do make sense, but Morosi notes in the video above that there are other areas the team needs to address. There's also the fact that Nightengale wrote in his column that some executives believe that if two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani doesn't sign with the Los Angeles Angels or Dodgers, the Cubs or Texas Rangers will sign him.

Then there's the Giants, who missed out on a variety of big-name free agents in recent years when they planned to be big spenders. Bryce Harper and Aaron Judge were two of their notable misses over the year. Nightengale also mentions in his column that the aforementioned executives believe the Giants will offer Ohtani the most money. If Ohtani does spurn the Giants, who's to say that they won't pivot and give a gigantic offer to Bellinger to convince him to sign?

Based off Morosi's comments, the Yankees will try their best to win the Cody Bellinger sweepstakes and secure an outfield spot for years to come alongside Judge.

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