The Yankees want a left-handed outfield bat. Reds star Jesse Winker is who they should target to fill that void.
Reports and the eye test make it clear: the Yankees want and need a left-handed outfield bat.
Since trading Mike Tauchman to the San Francisco Giants in late April, Giancarlo Stanton has still not played an inning in the field and is currently on the injured list, Aaron Hicks suffered a potential season-ending injury, Clint Frazier is dealing with a neck injury and is hitting just .151 on the season and Ryan LaMarre who was called up for depth was placed on the injured list with a hamstring injury.
Currently, Aaron Judge is the only everyday starter healthy in the Yankees outfield and is still getting several days both at DH and off completely to preserve his health for the full season.
Thus, veteran Brett Gardner who is hitting just .200 on the season and Miguel Andujar, who is a natural third baseman, are starting in the outfield every day. If the Yankees want to win number 28 this year, this can’t be the starting outfield for much longer.
Several reports indicate the Yankees want a left-handed outfield bat which makes plenty of sense given their majority right-handed lineup and need for outfield help. Thus, they should do everything possible to land Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jesse Winker.
After slugging three home runs Fridat night, the left-hander is slugging .356/.416/.664 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI’s. For those worried Winker’s success is a one-year wonder, fear not.
Since making his MLB debut in 2017, the 27-year-old outfielder has never had an on-base percentage below .357 (2019) and has never hit below .255 (2020). In 2018, he slashed .299/.405/.431 while in 2019, he slashed .269/357/.473 with 16 home runs.
During the shortened 2020 season, he hit a career-low .255 but posted a .388 OBP and slugged 12 home runs in just 54 games while helping end the Reds’ seven-year postseason drought.
The Yankees aren’t in need of another high strikeout, high power bat but rather one that will get on base consistently and run into a home run when possible. Winker is the perfect player for that role.