He is achieving a winning rate of more than 50% with 73 wins and 72 losses (.503), but the game gap with Baltimore, the world leader, has widened to 18.5 games. Arithmetically, the possibility of winning the Eastern District has already become 0%. There are also seven games in the wild card race. Considering the remaining games, it is a failure to advance to the postseason unless a miracle occurs.
Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Rodón and other players who spent a lot of money struggled with injuries and sluggishness. Aaron Judge, who signed a nine-year total of $360 million after the end of last season, was absent for longer than expected due to an unexpected injury. Now, the Yankees are expected to recruit a wide range to recover their pride this offseason.
In particular, the outfield is of interest. Aaron Hicks, once the team’s top outfield prospect, was released after a slump, and prospects who expected to take over are also not working hard. On top of that, as the possibility of advancing to the postseason declined, even Harrison Bader, who played as the main center fielder, announced waivers. It is read that he will create a new outfield composition around Aaron Judge.
However, the concern is that there are not many sales this off-season. Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), who is selected as the biggest fish, is at risk. The MVP-turned-player, who is showing his best performance this year, has a poor record in the previous two seasons. In other words, they do not know whether this year’s performance is a real rebound or a temporary rebound. Nevertheless, Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, is determined to earn more than $200 million. Most teams, including the Yankees, deserve to hesitate.
There is also a possibility of trade for Mike Trout (LA Angels), but Trout has also struggled with frequent injuries in recent years. Trout is in 82 appearances this year, with an adjusted OPS of 130. Although the adjusted OPS of 130 is great, it is significantly lower than the career average (173). Another stumbling block is that a large salary remains until 2030 when he is now in his mid-30s. In the situation of the Yankees, which already has a large salary, even Trout cannot handle it if it is on the decline.
Therefore, Lee Jung-hoo (25) is the next player recommended by the local media. Lee Jung-hoo, who is currently resting due to an unexpected ankle injury, plans to challenge the Major League through a posting system (closed competitive bidding) after this season. Although his injury is unfortunate this year, Major League Baseball’s evaluation of Lee Jung-hoo is almost over. The skill and character have already been fully confirmed. I’m interested in how much I bet.
The fact that there are not many left-handed outfielders with high batting average in the market is likely to work in favor. Although Lee Jung-hoo has no major league experience, it is Kiwoom, where senior fielders such as Kang Jung-ho and Kim Ha-sung have succeeded. Lee Jung-hoo is a player that Major League Baseball clubs have observed longer than them, and is considered to be competitive at least in hitting. Choo Shin-soo (41,SSG), who played in the Major League for 16 years, also applauded, saying, “At least hitting works in the Major League.”
“The Athletic,” a North American sports media outlet and subsidiary of the New York Times, also recommended that Lee Jung-hoo could be an option on the 13th (Korea Standard Time), as the region’s largest journalist, the New York Post, has already mentioned Lee Jung-hoo as one of the Yankees’ offseason sales. Regardless of the possibility of success, it is clear that New York media’s interest continues.
“The Athletic” said, “Korea’s star Lee Jung-hoo is expected to post this offseason,” adding, “25-year-old Lee Jung-hoo was the KBO League MVP last year and recorded an OPS of 0.863 in 85 games this season before breaking his left ankle. “If the Yankees want to add more contact-oriented hitters, he will be an attractive option.”
Lee Jung-hoo is expected to have a lower total than Bellinger, and there is no player to give like Trout Trade. It is expected to be a formidable amount based on the total amount, but the risk is less than that of the two players. Moreover, Lee Jung-hoo will turn 26 next year. It has the advantage of being able to select and use all of its heyday.
In fact, the Yankees are known to be a representative team that has watched Lee Jung-hoo for a long time. And there is also a great thirst for quality outfielders. With quite a few players organized, there is some leeway in the pay roll as well. The Yankees’ annual salary this year is about $278.8 million. The guaranteed salary for next year is about $189 million. Although there are still many guaranteed salaries at the top of the league after 2025, there is still room to buy an A-class outfielder. Attention is also being paid to whether that capacity will be directed to Lee Jung-hoo.