Report: Yankees express interest in Rays outfielder via trade
The New York Yankees have been extremely calm in the last few days in free agency, but they are expressing interest in several business opportunities. Tuesday, Lindsay Adler of The Athletic reported that the Bombers are intrigued by Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Kiermaier is on the record to say, “We don’t like them, they don’t like us,” after tensions grew last season between the two teams. The Yankees and Rays have had their fair share of intense competition, but they may be looking to replace some depth of field with a potential deal.
Kiermaier is 31 with a left-handed stick, which gives him a bit more diversity in the batting order. He signed a six-year, $ 53.5 million contract in 2017, but has a club option in 2023 after next season. He is preparing to earn $ 8.9 million this coming year after hitting 0.259 with four home runs and 37 RBIs.
The reliable outfielder has been relatively healthy over the past three seasons, showing a little more batting patience over the past two years and sufficient offensive skills. He’s not a primary hitter, more often relying on contact to get by.
However, Kiermaier is a phenomenal defensive center. Last year, he posted a .996 defensive percentage over 894 innings in the outfield. He would deliver incredible prowess in the outfield, moving quickly and efficiently, rarely making a mistake.
With Aaron Hicks proving to be a handicap due to inconsistent health, Kiermaier would offer the team a reliable option they can rely on on a daily basis if needed. Having produced a 10.3 fWAR over the past five seasons, Kevin is arguably baseball’s best defensive outfielder.
Nonetheless, the Yankees are expected to run a trade for his services. A deal could include some mediocre prospects, as the Rays may want to take his money off the books since his 2022 salary is guaranteed. However, they may not like the idea of ââtrading one of their players to the Yankees, which is also a reasonable sticking point.