The Yankees’ top relief target this winter is their own former closer Aroldis Chapman, but they have made contact with other stars at various positions as well, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports writes. The Yankees have also been in touch with closer Kenley Jansen (although they prefer Chapman, since he’s pitched for them before and since signing him wouldn’t cost them a draft pick) as well as hitters Carlos Beltran, Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista, as has been previously reported. They’ve also likely spoken to representatives for starters Rich Hill (in whom top Yankees exec Brian Cashman has stated interest) and Jason Hammel (about whom the Yankees were previously known to be gathering information).
Encarnacion, Heyman writes, could be a high priority for the Yankees, although he also reports that the team has spoken with Cespedes’ agent up to five times already. As has been previously noted, the Yankees are involved in Beltran’s market, along with the Astros, Red Sox and perhaps Rangers.
Heyman also adds a few new names to the mix: those of Dexter Fowler, Matt Holliday, Mike Napoli and Brandon Moss. The Yankees currently have Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge in the outfield and Tyler Austin at DH, but Judge and Austin are inexperienced, and the Yankees could trade Gardner to clear playing time and payroll space for an impact bat.
Heyman cites Napoli, who is coming off a solid .239/.335/.465 season in Cleveland, as one option who could be particularly intriguing. Napoli or Holliday could help the Yankees at DH, while Fowler would likely play the outfield, and Moss could help in the outfield or first base, or at DH. Either way, it’s unclear to this point whether the Yankees are looking for one player for outfield and DH or two.