by Paul Semendinger
November 27, 2023
This is actually a great lesson in how rumors can become seen as facts...
I saw a Tweet on X (can we just say Twitter?) that stated that the Yankees were "linked to Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies."
I hadn't seen any reports that the Yankees were pursuing Blackmon so I looked into this a little further and found a Sports Illustrated story published yesterday titled:
This seemed legitimate until I read further...
It turns out that the Yankees themselves are not linked (at the moment, at least) to Charlie Blackmon, rather writer Anthony McCarron made that suggestion in a panel discussion here:
So, rather than the Yankees pursuing Blackmon, we have here a tweet based off an article based off a discussion where a reporter made a suggestion as to who the Yankees could look into this winter.
This seems, to me, to be a non-story.
But, since the name is out there, let's quickly look at Charlie Blackmon and if he fits on the 2024 Yankees.
Blackmon, in his day, was a very good hitter. He was a four-time All-Star. He won the 2017 National League Batting Title. He hit over .300 five times. HIs lifetime batting average is .296. His lifetime OPS+ is 112. From 2016 through 2019, he averaged 32 homers a year.
Blackmon is an outfielder, and currently, the Yankees are in need of a left fielder and a centerfielder.
Blackmon also hits left-handed which is also something the Yankees need.
On some levels, he make sense for the Yankees. He does check a lot of boxes.
But, Blackmon is 37-years-old. He will turn 38 during the season. Last year he batted a respectable .279, but he seems to be a far cry from the elite-type hitter he once was. Blackmon hasn't hit .300 since 2020. He hasn't reached 20 home runs since 2019. He has missed 93 games over the last two seasons - a far cry from when he was a durable everyday player. Blackmon has also never had a positive dWAR, ever, in his career.
Blackmon would be an interesting player on the Yankees - a seasoned veteran with contact abilities, but he isn't the answer, or even an answer as a starting player on a team looking to compete for a championship in 2024.
(There's also the question of his signature beard. I don't see the Yankees changing their position on beards and I wonder if Blackmon would be willing to change his signature look.)
If the Yankees are looking to compete at the highest levels, Charlie Blackmon is not part of the solution. If the Yankees secure some outstanding starting players, and then they pick-up Blackmon as a role player, that would be a different story. Still, I don't see the fit. The Yankees need to get younger and more athletic. I don't see Charlie Blackmon as a Yankee in 2024.