Breaking News: Yankees Urged to Trade for $61 Million Outfielder: ‘Could Be a Perfect Fit’

At 54-35, the New York Yankees are still very much in control of a postseason berth. But these past three weeks have been difficult. They have a 5-14 record since June 13 and have dropped out of first place in the American League East. There is a void on the roster. Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs is an outfielder; could he score one for the Bombers?

Evan Massey of Sports Illustrated believes they ought to give it some thought if Chicago makes him available before the July 30 trade deadline. “New York doesn’t require further outfield assistance. Happ, though, could be able to assist them alter their lineup and roster a little,” he added. “A team like the Yankees that wants to contend for a championship has to add quality depth. Happ might earn a slot in the starting lineup and provide excellent depth.

Happ “could be a perfect fit for the Yankees at a very reasonable price,” according to Massey as well.
Happ signed a $61 million, three-year contract agreement with the Cubs in April 2023. The deal is currently in effect. Before becoming a free agent, Spotrac estimates that he will make $21 million in 2024 and $19 million in 2025.
Happ’s Potential Fit with the Yankees

Happ’s output in 2024 isn’t very impressive, but the Yankees would benefit from his offensive. He is striking.In 338 plate appearances, he is 227/.343/.416 with 11 home runs, 44 RBI, and 45 runs scored. According to FanGraphs, Happ’s.759 OPS would place him fourth among eligible New York hitters on the Bombers. Right present, the only players with better OPSs than Happ are Aaron Judge (1.149), Juan Soto (.997), and Giancarlo Stanton (.795).

The Yankees don’t absolutely need another outfielder, as Massey pointed out. However, it would not be difficult to find a position for Happ to play if they were to sign such a competent player. The output of offseason acquisition Alex Verdugo has decreased recently. With 350 plate appearances, he is hitting.241/.300/.387.
Happ, who has spent the majority of his playing time in left field in 2024, might replace him there. The 29-year-old, who has experience at all three outfield spots, might occasionally relieve Judge in center field. Earlier in his career, Happ also accrued a sizable amount of innings at second base and third base. Another option is that the Yankees have made it known that they are interested in improving their infield.
Is There Another Cubs Slugger That the Yankees May Be Targeting?

Could the Yankees be more interested in Happ’s colleague Cody Bellinger if the Cubs decide to sell at the trade deadline? The winner of the 2019 National League MVP Award would provide the Bombers more offensive punch and fit better on the field. Bellinger is a very comfortable first baseman but has also played a lot of center field in 2024.

Over the course of the past year, there has been much discussion regarding a potential Bellinger-to-the-Bronx scenario. Bellinger was linked to the Yankees both this past winter before they acquired Soto from the San Diego Padres and last summer prior to the trade deadline.
From a luxury tax perspective, Bellinger’s $30 million salary would be difficult for New York to absorb. But there’s a better chance of flexibility in the future. The three-year contract that the left-handed hitter inked contained player opt-outs after 2024 and 2025. Therefore, it would seem likely that the Scott Boras client will choose free agency once more. He could play first base even if he chooses to opt into 2025, and New York could just reject Anthony Rizzo’s club option.

In either case, the Yankees’ lineup needs a boost. Bellinger looks like a better match for the team, but Happ, if he becomes available, would also be interesting for this season and the 2025 squad.

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