The Yankees Pursue Outfield Help, Eyeing Juan Soto and Cody Bellinger
Updated: Nov. 20, 2023, 12:21 p.m.
The New York Yankees are actively searching for outfield help this offseason, with their wish list including Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres and free agent Cody Bellinger. General manager Brian Cashman is determined to strengthen the team’s left-handed hitting options, particularly in the outfield.
According to reports, the Yankees are considered strong contenders to sign both Bellinger and Soto. The San Francisco Giants are also in the running for Bellinger’s signature, while the Yankees hope to pair him with Soto in their outfield. The Giants are also interested in acquiring free agent Matt Chapman to play third base.
Bellinger, who revitalized his career with the Chicago Cubs on a one-season contract, is expected to leave the team as the Cubs focus on pursuing superstar Shohei Ohtani. The 28-year-old outfielder/first baseman had an impressive season, hitting .307 with 26 home runs, 97 RBI, and 20 steals. Experts predict that Bellinger could secure a contract worth up to $240 million over six years.
The pursuit of Soto presents a different challenge for the Yankees, as he is currently under contract with the Padres until 2024. However, there are rumors that the Padres are looking to reduce their payroll by approximately $50 million this offseason, making Soto a potential trade target. The 26-year-old rejected a lucrative 14-year, $440 million extension before being traded to San Diego. The Yankees have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Soto earlier this offseason.
Soto, a three-time All-Star, had an impressive season with a .275 batting average, 35 home runs, and 109 RBI. If the Padres decide to make him available, the Yankees can expect stiff competition from other teams vying for his services.
As the offseason progresses, the Yankees’ pursuit of outfield help continues to unfold. Cashman remains focused on bolstering the team’s left-handed hitting options, and the potential additions of Soto and Bellinger would significantly strengthen the Yankees’ outfield lineup.