The New York Yankees have been and always will be about the long ball. They have constructed their team with lefty sluggers capable of reaching the short porch in right field. However, that has left them vulnerable on the right side of the plate.
Here are five sluggers whom the Yankees could look to acquire who not only would fill an immediate need but can also provide promise for the future.
Upton seems like a no-brainer for the Yankees. He is a 28-year-old center fielder with speed and pop from the right side of the plate. Bringing him to the team via free agency would be a success for the Yankees on so many levels.
They would be taking away a major weapon from one of their biggest division rivals in Tampa Bay.
They would be adding a player coming off his best season power-wise entering the prime of his career.
Lastly, they would be able to go forward with their plans to move Curtis Granderson out of center field.
There is always risk with any player, and scouts have wondered why Upton has never reached his full potential. He has a tendency to strike out a lot, but so does the rest of the lineup, so he would fit right in.
If according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Arizona is truly discussing the idea of trading right fielder Justin Upton, then the Yankees have to be involved in that conversation. The Yankees were originally on his no-trade list, but it has since been updated, and they are no longer on it. That might just be the opening the Yanks need to work out a deal for the 25-year-old blooming star.
Upton is a season removed from a 30-20 season in which he batted nearly .290. He is a clear upgrade over Nick Swisher. Upton would instantly become the type of future player the Yanks could build around. He brings energetic youth to an aging roster.
In order to acquire Upton, it would certainly cost the Yankees. They probably can’t put together a deal better than other teams out there. But Brian Cashman is one of the best GMs in the game and might just be able to pull off a deal.
Even though Cashman has stated Alex Rodriguez isn't going anywhere, that doesn't mean the Yankees still can’t look at potential stars at third base. Headley has already been on the Yankees' radar once before, when A-Rod went down close to last season’s trade deadline.
Headley turned a lot of heads last season when he smacked a career-high 31 home runs. He is only 28 years old and also entering the prime of his career. If he is capable of hitting 31 home runs in Petco, he could do wonders in Yankee Stadium.
The apparent asking price for Headley is very large, and the Yankees might not be willing to pay it for a player they really don’t have a position for. There is also the risk that the power isn't real. Headley nearly matched his career home run total entering last season.
With reports that Russell Martin is looking for a four-year contract worth around $40 million, that might be a price the Yankees are not willing to pay. Despite his putrid batting average, Martin did hit 21 home runs for the Yankees.
Napoli could pick up right where Martin left off, just with a little more pop. Napoli is capable of hitting 30-plus home runs out of the catcher position. He has in the past provided a very good batting average to go with that power.
The Yanks probably won’t expect a return to the .320 BA he posted in 2011. However he is better than the .227 he had last season. He would catch and DH part time and spell Mark Teixeira at first.
If the Yankees really want to make a splash this offseason they could bring in possibly the best right-handed power hitter in baseball. The Miami Marlins made the idea of acquiring Stanton possible when they completed the blockbuster deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The move upset Stanton, leaving teams to wonder about the 23-year-old's availability.
Stanton is one of those special hitters; any time he makes contact with the ball, it has a chance to leave the ballpark. In only 123 games last season, Stanton crushed 37 home runs. He also provided a very respectable .290 BA for a power hitter. The addition of Stanton into the middle of the Yankees lineup would change the complexion of the entire AL East.
The problem for the Yankees is that they would more than likely have to empty their farm system to trade for Stanton. Miami has no real interest in moving Stanton as they control his very affordable contract for many more years. However, the Marlins are known to make a big splash, so the possibility is always there.