Done Deal: Top Experienced $61 Million Outfielder Finally Agree Deal To Join New York Yankees

**Yankees Encouraged to Trade for $61 Million Outfielder: ‘Could Be a Perfect Fit’**

The New York Yankees, holding a 54-35 record, still secure a postseason spot but have faced challenges in recent weeks. Since June 13, they’ve fallen to a 5-14 record, dropping from first place in the American League East. The team needs a boost, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ might be the solution.

Evan Massey from Sports Illustrated suggests the Yankees should consider acquiring Happ if he’s available before the July 30 trade deadline. “New York doesn’t necessarily need outfield help, but Happ could shake up their roster and lineup,” he said. “Adding quality depth is crucial for a championship-contending team like the Yankees. Happ would bring elite depth and could fit into the lineup.”

Massey believes Happ “could be a perfect fit for the Yankees at a reasonable price.”

Happ is in the midst of a three-year, $61 million extension with the Cubs, earning $21 million in 2024 and $19 million in 2025 before hitting free agency.

**How Happ Could Fit in With the Yankees**

While Happ’s 2024 stats aren’t outstanding, his offense would enhance the Yankees’ lineup. He’s batting .227/.343/.416 with 11 home runs, 44 RBIs, and 45 runs in 338 plate appearances. His .759 OPS would rank fourth among Yankees hitters, behind Aaron Judge (1.149), Juan Soto (.997), and Giancarlo Stanton (.795).


The Yankees may not need another outfielder, but Happ could find a spot. Alex Verdugo’s recent decline, hitting .241/.300/.387 in 350 plate appearances, opens an opportunity. Happ could play left field, his primary position in 2024, and provide occasional relief for Judge in center field. Additionally, Happ has experience at second and third base, aligning with the Yankees’ interest in infield upgrades.

**Alternative Cubs Slugger for the Yankees?**

If the Cubs decide to trade, the Yankees might also consider Cody Bellinger. The 2019 NL MVP could bolster the Yankees’ offense and fit well on the field, having played center field and first base in 2024.

The Yankees have shown interest in Bellinger over the past year, linked to him before last year’s trade deadline and this past offseason before acquiring Soto from the Padres.

Bellinger’s $30 million salary poses a luxury tax challenge for New York, but his contract offers future flexibility with player opt-outs after 2024 and 2025. If he opts into 2025, he could replace Anthony Rizzo at first base, allowing New York to decline Rizzo’s club option.

The Yankees need a lineup boost. While Bellinger might be a more natural fit, Happ also presents an intriguing option for this season and beyond if available.

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