Yankees’ Volpe misses mark as desired outfielder lands elsewhere

Esteban Quiñones
Monday November 27, 2023

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In the ongoing quest to bolster their outfield for the upcoming season, the New York Yankees found themselves envisioning a particular player donning the iconic pinstripes. Shortstop Anthony Volpe, amidst the whirlwind of the free agency market, had cast his hopeful gaze toward outfielder Jason Heyward. However, in a twist of fate, Heyward chose to rekindle his association with the Los Angeles Dodgers, leaving the Yankees to continue their search for outfield reinforcements.

Outfielder sweepstakes

The unexpected interest in Heyward emerged during the 2023 Gold Glove celebration when Volpe, sharing a brief encounter with the seasoned outfielder, couldn’t resist expressing his admiration. “I ran into Jason Heyward a couple of weeks ago, and I said he’d look good without a beard on,” Volpe remarked, as recounted by the New York Post. Despite Heyward not being previously linked to the Yankees in the free agency speculation, Volpe’s comment hinted at the unspoken allure of imagining the outfield maestro patrolling the Yankee Stadium grass.

Jason Heyward’s return to the Dodgers was confirmed through an initial report by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, revealing that the accomplished outfielder had inked a one-year, $9 million deal with the Los Angeles franchise. Heyward, a distinguished recipient of the Gold Glove Award on five occasions, had donned the Dodgers uniform in the preceding season. Boasting a professional career spanning 14 years, Heyward’s journey included an All-Star selection during his tenure with the Atlanta Braves in 2010 and a pivotal role in securing the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 World Series Championship.

During his stint with the Dodgers in the prior season, Heyward showcased his offensive prowess with a slash line of .269/.340/.473, contributing 15 home runs and 40 RBI to the team’s cause. His well-rounded skills and veteran experience make him a valuable asset for any team, and the Dodgers successfully retained his services for another campaign.

Meanwhile, the Yankees, in their quest for outfield talent, are specifically eyeing left field and center field positions. The organization has shown a keen interest in adding left-handed hitters to fortify these crucial roles. As the pursuit of suitable candidates continues, the latest name linked to the Yankees is Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee. Notably, Lee fits the bill as a lefty-hitting centerfielder, aligning with the Yankees’ strategic emphasis on bolstering their lineup with southpaw presence.

As the Yankees navigate the complex landscape of free agency to address their outfield needs, the unexpected subplot involving Jason Heyward serves as a reminder of the fluid and unpredictable nature of player acquisitions in the world of professional baseball. While Heyward may not be gracing the Yankee Stadium with his presence, the team remains committed to securing the right pieces to enhance their outfield and make a formidable impact in the upcoming season.

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