Having shed quite a bit of salary Thursday by trading Brian McCann to Houston, the New York Yankees are now looking seriously at some of the top designated hitters on the open market, including Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran, sources told Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.
Though their deal with the Astros continues a recent trend of unloading veteran talent, having trimmed $ 11.5 million from their payroll in each of the next two seasons, the Yankees appear inclined to add a more seasoned hitter to their increasingly youthful roster. It’s unclear, however, how much the Yankees want to spend to do that.
On Thursday, Encarnacion’s agent said he’s still talking with five or six teams, but admitted it’s been a “pretty quiet” week as he and his client have been “waiting for things to fall into place.” Encarnacion, a three-time All-Star looking for a five-year, $ 125-million deal after smashing 42 homers with an .886 OPS with the Blue Jays in 2016, has stated he’d prefer to return to Toronto, and comes with draft-pick compensation attached to him after rejecting the Blue Jays’ qualifying offer.
Conversely, Beltran won’t cost the Yankees a draft pick, and is already well acquainted with New York, having spent much of the past three years in the Bronx before being shipped to Texas ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline. Beltran, who is reportedly drawing interest from the Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros, managed a .797 OPS in 341 games with the Yankees from 2014-2016, and the nine-time All-Star hit .295/.337/.513 with 29 homers in 151 contests last season.