The New York Yankees are reportedly one of four teams to be in hot pursuit of switch-hitting designated hitter, Carlos Beltran.
Are the New York Yankees really going from old to young back to old again?
Although we all knew the Yankees were interested, we now know that the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays are the other three teams involved.
The nine-time all-star slashed .304/.344/.546 with an OPS of .890 and 22 home runs in 99 games during the first half in New York in 2016.
Beltran then kept his stock up by smacking seven home runs and 12 doubles in 52 games for the AL West-winning Texas Rangers. He was denied his first World Series win after being swept in the ALDS by the Blue Jays but fully plans on returning to the game for his 20th season.
However, this could hinder the flexibility of a lineup compared to if Cashman decided to look in-house to fill the DH vacancy left by Brian McCann’s trade.
If they decide to stay in-house and utilize Tyler Austin as their primary DH, the Yankees have the ability to keep Gary Sanchez fresh with frequent appearances in the lineup not as the starting catcher.
17 of Sanchez’s 53 historic games in his rookie campaign were played as the designated hitter, which does a lot in terms of consistency and strength for a backstop throughout the course of an entire major league baseball season.
Speaking of strength, a fully recovered Greg Bird, who slugged 11 home runs in 46 games in 2015, very well may be the greatest source of power in New York’s lineup. Keeping him sharp with frequent days as the DH could bode well for his shoulder after coming off a year-long labrum injury.
Austin could do the same for Aaron Judge and is fully capable of handling both the first base and right field position. Conceivably, a promising youngster who could see some time in the field and fill the DH role by mixing and matching could further give the organization a nice look at their young talent.
Then again, they only have three returning players that hit 15+ home runs a year ago (Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro). Don’t be dumbfounded if they do, in fact, add a proven big bat in Edwin Encarnacion or Beltran.
This is all talk, however, until moves start happening on Dec. 5 at the winter meetings. Stay tuned to ESNY for all the hot stove buzz.