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Why the Yankees Are Smart to Pursue This Free Agent

By Derek McAdam

February 9, 2022

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Due to the lockout that has now lasted over two months, rumors have been flying left and right the entire off-season. The latest rumor surrounding the Yankees is one that has been around for several months now but might become a reality once the lockout ends.

According to the latest rumors, the Yankees are expected to pursue Freddie Freeman at first base, one of the positions Brian Cashman has wanted to upgrade. Freeman is coming off a 2020 NL MVP season and most recently became a World Series champion this past October.

Not only would Freeman be an upgrade at first base over Luke Voit and Anthony Rizzo, but it would only take a draft pick to sign him to the roster since he declined the Braves’ qualifying offer. If the Yankees went after Matt Olson, it would take a haul to bring him to the Bronx.

Freeman is a career .295 hitter with 271 home runs and 1,704 hits. He does not turn 33 until September and could still be a very productive player for at least another four or five seasons. His left-handed bat is something the Yankees like to bring to Yankee Stadium, so this is another perk to sign him.

The obvious downside to signing Freeman is the risk of having him on a long-term contract. He is a Southern California native and has played with the Braves his entire career, so the New York scene could be a tougher pitch to lure him in. But more years and money could do that trick. It would just be a matter of whether or not Cashman would be willing to do that.

Another concern is his age and how he may be past his prime. Even if he dropped off to be a .275 hitter, the Yankees would gladly take that along with solid defense.

But this is a risk that I believe Cashman should take. Freeman is a player who has not missed many games and has been consistent for most of his career. Voit is not a player the Yankees can rely on to stay healthy or be a solid hitter at the plate or a defensive reliability.

While Rizzo could always come back to the Yankees, Cashman should prioritize Freeman. Rizzo is a solid defensive player, but Freeman can bring both offense and defense. Why not try and kill two birds with one stone?

Something to remember is that these are just rumors. The Yankees seem to always be linked to the top free agents every off-season, even if they never have a meeting with the player. But this is something to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks as we hopefully make our way towards a resolution.

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