The Yankees have had their eye on a certain right handed hitting outfielder pretty much all offseason, but they missed out on him as Scott Hairston agreed to a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
With an all left handed hitting outfield it would have been nice to have a player who hit .286/.317/.550 against lefties, but the Yankees refused to offer him a two-year deal. It seemed like if anybody the Mets would eventually cave and make the multi-year offer, but the Cubs obviously stepped up.
Now the Yankees will go into spring training with a trio of players fighting for that fourth outfielder spot: Matt Diaz, Russ Canzler, and Thomas Neal. All players are on minor league deals so nobody exactly has the inside track here, but Diaz has by far the most major league experience. His problem is that he also has had injury problems for each of the past two years.
There doesn’t appear to be any other big names available on the market that would fit the role of a right handed hitting outfielder. Vernon Wells could be had, but his large contract, two-years and $42 million remaining, would have to be entirely paid for by the Angels for the Yankees to even think about a possible deal. Even then, he didn’t do so well against lefties last season, hitting just .227/.298/.373.
So it looks like it’ll be a battle between Diaz, Canzler, and Neal.