Yankees might not get Shohei Ohtani, but could steal speedy outfielder from division rival

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The New York Yankees are expected to be very aggressive this coming offseason after falling short of the postseason in 2023. New York finished in fourth place in the AL East with a record of 82-80.

They were 19 games out of first place and seven back in the Wild Card race. The odds are that they will need to have a big offseason in order to bounce back into the playoff picture in 2024.

With Shohei Ohtani on the market this winter, the Yankees could be one of the teams in play for the two-way superstar, as he is expected to leave the Los Angeles Angels.

Even after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time, Ohtani will be highly sought after. But in the event that the Yankees aren't able to sign him, another option may emerge.

How Shohei Ohtani will impact Blue Jays, Kevin Kiermaier

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is set to return to the free agent market this coming winter. After the Blue Jays were eliminated by the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card Series yesterday, Kiermaier commented on his free agency and what may happen this offseason.

"I'm going to let Ohtani set the market and then maybe I'll let the Cards fall after that, regarding me," said Kiermaier. "I'll listen to whoever has interest and go from there."

Obviously, Kiermaier is nowhere near the player that Ohtani is, but he is no slouch. This year, the 33-year-old outfielder hit .265 in 370 at-bats with eight home runs, 36 RBI, and a .741 OPS.

He possesses speed and is an elite defender. He is also a left-handed bat, which would help balance out the Yankees right-handed heavy lineup. Kiermaier can play all three outfield positions as well.

Ohtani's free agency will certainly dictate the trajectory of the market this offseason, as he'll be the top name on the market, even with his injury. But Kiermaier is a player that teams may be interested in, and he'd certainly be a nice frugal pickup for a team looking to improve their outfield depth and add a left-handed bat to their mix.