PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — The Yankees have at least checked in on the New York Mets’ star free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (and other top free agent outfielders), but the current plan is to go with right field, meaning Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks.
“I’m open to anything. But as of right now, we’re going to let the kids take a shot,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman said here at the GM meetings. “Our current focus is to let the kids try to take the job.”
Perhaps the Yankees are mostly just covering their bases, but they did have a conversation with CAA, Cespedes’ reps, regarding the Mets star, as well other reps for other top free-agent hitters, including Jose Bautista and others.
“We’ve talked to all of them,” Cashman acknowledged.
The Yankees haven’t said what their payroll is, but they’d like to improve their power situation. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner currently manning two outfield spots, they are looking for power elsewhere, and while a full year for Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird could help, they aren’t ruling anything out.
Last year, the Yankees did not seem very involved with Cespedes. But he does bring some big pluses, including the ability to perform under bright lights. His performance has improved markedly since going to the Mets at the trade deadline of 2015.
The Yankees do not seem heavily involved at the moment either. But Cashman acknowledged they could become more involved in free-agent hitters.
“Things could change,” Cashman said, “if we move money.”