When the Yankees made a trade to receive David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve from the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees also toyed with another potential trade–a trade in which they could’ve acquired outfielder Jason Heyward and infielder Andrelton Simmons. Obviously the trade talks didn’t go anywhere and Heyward was eventually traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.
If the Yankees showed interest in Heyward last offseason, there’s no doubt they would show interest in Heyward this offseason when he’s a free agent. Of course, the Yankees have three outfielders on the team with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran signed through next year but Heyward would be an interesting addition. But some may wonder, why would the Yankees reconsider Heyward?
— He’ll be 26 when he’s a free agent. The Yankees are a team that are trying to get young and Heyward would fit the bill in that department.
— He’s an overall well-rounded player. He has power (84 HR’s in four-years), he can drive in runs when needed (292 RBI’s in four-years), he gets on base (.351 OBP in the last four-years) and he can steal bases (he stole 20 bags last season for the Atlanta Braves).
— Heyward has Gold Glove defense. The Yankees have terrific defenders in Ellsbury and Gardner, so balls would have a harder time dropping in the outfield if Ellsbury, Gardner and Heyward were the starters, pushing Beltran to the DH spot.
The Yankees trading for Heyward over the winter would have altered the team to a degree: Carlos Beltran would be the every day DH, Alex Rodriguez‘s role on the team would be in question and the Yankees wouldn’t have acquired Garrett Jones. If the Yankees pursue Heyward this offseason, it would still cause a bit of altering. Beltran could be the “fourth outfielder” due to age and Alex Rodriguez would have to share the DH role with Beltran. But there are many upsides to getting Heyward, and if the price is right the Yankees should consider reopening their interest.