Should the Yankees pursue Jason Heyward this offseason?

Jason+Heyward+Washington+Nationals+v+Atlanta+KrJ5BV7D7MZlIt’s never too early to consider who the Yankees should acquire for next season, but what if that same player was someone the Yankees came close to acquiring last offseason?

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.


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16 Responses to Should the Yankees pursue Jason Heyward this offseason?

  1. tom says:

    I do wish that Simmons is the one that will become a free agent after this season. I could not care about Heyward but I do hope Aaron Judge is ready to roll for 2016 debut.

  2. hotdog says:

    he's not going to come cheap and is he worth losing a 1st round pick…i figure if you're going to pick up a free agent who gets a qualifying offer, he better be worth it…great glove, good hitter with higher potential…i'm not feeling it though…

    • I suppose there is a slight chance, that the Cardinals could trade him midseason. I'm not necessarily sure I would want the Yankees to go after him. I'm just saying.

  3. Tanzo says:

    I would guess that the QO will be over 16 million next year. I don't see the Cards giving him one unless he really has a great year. If he plays well then he will want about 25 per year for 5 years. Lots of money.

    • I think almost anybody would take a 26-year-old outfielder on a one-year $16 million deal. The Cards will make him a qualifying offer as long as they don't trade him or he doesn't have a serious injury.

      • I agree. I don't see the Cardinals giving up the draft pick, unless Heyward was injured. Even if they didn't want him and he accepted the QO, they would still be able to trade him.

  4. Mike says:

    Holiday only has another year on his contract and the Cards have no star outfield prospects since Taveras's death. I'm not sure why people think the Cards will not make a long-term play for Heyward later this season. They gave up a lot for just a one year 'rental'.

  5. Robert Rufa says:

    Shaking my head. What was the purpose of acquiring Chris Young then? And if A-Rod continues to hit with authority into the season, it would be foolish to alternate him with Beltran, who probably won't contribute much–in fact, they're going to want to keep him in the lineup for interleague away games as well, which means a position.

    The Yankees have some wasted money tied up in players who probably won't be productive. I get that they want to be a younger team–I'm all for that. But they need to use the senior citizens they have wisely for as long as possible, Youngsters benefit fro being part of a competitive team as they're coming along.

  6. guest says:

    Chris "I K'd against the pitching machine" Young will not make July in a Yankees uniform…he sucks!

  7. Balt Yank says:

    I am not sure why the Yankees need another outfielder unless Beltran is ill he's released. Barring that, AROD owns DH and there is no room for a fourth outfielder at $16 million. The Yankees will need a starting pitcher or three next year.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      Beltran's in his late 30's and can barely field right field as is. If balls are hit to RF, Yanks could be in trouble with Beltran out there. Not to mention he has a history of knee injuries.

      • Jim says:

        If you want to argue that signing Beltran was a mistake, that would be fair. But arguing that, after they gave Beltran $45 mill., they should go out and find a replacement because he's too old, is just silly.

        It's not like Beltran can't play right field. He had a defensive WAR of -1.5 the last two years. That's not a reason to get rid of a career .491 slugger you signed for $15 mill./year. The offense more than makes up for the slightly sub par defense.

        The Yankees have far bigger holes on their team than a hard hitting right fielder who's not a great defender.

  8. Jim says:

    The Yankees already have three outfielders, so that would no, they shouldn't pursue a fourth one. They should pursue some starting pitchers…since that's what they don't have enough of.

    It's really not that complicated an issue. Definitely didn't require its own article.

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