There are several MLB rumors hanging around free agent outfielder Shane Victorino at the moment with several teams showing an interest in the 32-year-old. Jon Heyman has stated that the New York Yankees are among the teams that have shown an interest.
Victorino, despite all of the struggles at the plate last season, makes sense for the Yankees. However, given the free agent market and the self-imposed restrictions the Yankees are placing on themselves to get under the $189 million cap, are unlikely to land Victorino unless something unthinkable happens.
The Yankees do have holes in the outfield at the current moment with Nick Swisher already out the door and fourth outfielder Andruw Jones likely to not be re-signed. The Yankees also have Raul Ibanez and Ichiro Suzuki as free agents that will need to be re-signed or replaced.
Victorino would be an ideal candidate to replace Jones. He crushes lefties, hitting .301/.373/.508 against left-handers for his career. Versus right-handers, Victorino, who is a switch-hitter, has posted only a .267/.330/.402 line.
Victorino’s numbers indicate he is better suited to play in a platoon role but he is still young enough and still a good enough defender that he will likely get a starting job somewhere. His first preference is to stay in centerfield but he has expressed a willingness to move to a corner.
Another hang-up for the Yankees, if they are in fact pursuing Victorino, would be the length of the contract. The Yankees seem intent on signing free agents to one-year contracts and this interest might be nothing more than GM Brian Cashman doing his due diligence. Look for the Yankees to bring back Ichiro and Ibanez and possibly Scott Hairston instead.