New York Yankees Would be Wise to Check in on Scott Van Slyke

By Christopher Gamble
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With Carlos Beltran’s bone spurs lingering and Alfonso Soriano looking like he might be done, the New York Yankees might be in the market for an outfielder. If GM Brian Cashman decides to look for an outfielder via trade, the Los Angeles Dodgers could have exactly what the Yankees need in 27-year-old right-handed hitter Scott Van Slyke.

The Dodgers have the problem of having too many outfielders. The Dodgers would love to move Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford or Matt Kemp to free up some salary space. However, no team seems willing to take on those absurd contracts, not even the Yankees. Instead, the one outfielder that is garnering interest across Major League Baseball is Van Slyke.

The Dodgers are in need of help in the bullpen and the Yankees have a couple of young arms that would fit the Dodgers’ needs. Mark Montgomery and Jose Ramirez could interest the Dodgers since both are young, cheap and have the ability and potential to be solid late-inning relievers, if not better. Ramirez is a hard throwing righty who sits in the 94-96 MPH range. He made his MLB debut and has had a little trouble adjusting but that isn’t anything major. With only 5.1 innings under his belt it is too small a sample size to say he will never live up to the potential.

One thing the Yankees do have is depth in the bullpen. In fact, the bullpen has been their biggest strength this season with David Robertson filling in for Mariano Rivera beautifully and Dellin Betances emerging as a legitimate set-up man alongside Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley.

The Yankees could use some youth and depth in the outfield. Ichiro Suzuki is not an everyday option at this point. Alfonso Soriano looks completely lost. Carlos Beltran is a major question mark, even if his shoulder doesn’t require surgery. Jacoby Ellsbury has been healthy this season and has been dynamic for the most part but with his history it wouldn’t hurt to have a little insurance.

Van Slyke, son of former Major Leaguer Andy Van Slyke, won’t hit free agency until 2020, giving any team that trades for him plenty of years of team control. Van Slyke turns 28 in July but has been held back from contributing on the MLB level by the glut of high-priced outfielders in front of him. Still, in only 87 at-bats he has hit six home runs and a .264/.413/.563 slash line. He has power to all fields and hits lefties better than he does righties with a .243/.359/.543 and 11 homers versus a line of .223/.320/.385 with four homers line against righties.

Adding Van Slyke is a long shot for the Yankees since outfield is low on their priority list, after a starting pitcher and probably an infielder. However, they have been linked to John Mayberry, Jr. and you can never underestimate Brian Cashman when it comes to making a deal. Still, Van Slyke would be a nice, affordable, fit in Yankee Stadium and in the Yankees’ lineup for years to come.

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