5 free agent options for New York Yankees to target this offseason

The New York Yankees need a ton of help following an 82-80 season in which they missed the playoffs. Some creative maneuvering could rebuild this roster quickly.

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Cody Bellinger, OF/1B

Cody Bellinger was a popular name thrown around at the trade deadline, but the Chicago Cubs chose to hold on to him in order to chase a playoff spot. Bellinger ended with a .307 batting average, 26 home runs, and a 4.4 bWAR. In addition to his offense, Bellinger ranks towards the top of Baseball Savant's defensive leaderboards.

This was Bellinger's best season since 2019, when he won an MVP, but his underlying batted ball metrics support a strong statistical season. Should Bellinger begin to level off a bit, 20-25 home runs, a .270 batting average and strong outfield defense is not an outlandish projection. The hesitation may come from both the eventual price range for Bellinger's elite season, plus the likelihood of signing Bellinger costing a draft pick after declining a likely Qualifying Offer.

Alex Cobb, SP

Alex Cobb has undergone a bit of a career transformation through his work with Driveline Baseball. Since 2021, Cobb has finsihed with a sub-4.00 ERA in three straight seasons, starting at least 18 games in all three seasons. Cobb is great at limiting free passes, with a career walk rate at just 6.6 percent, and his ground ball-heavy arsenal is perfect for Yankee Stadium.

A first-time All-Star in his age-35 season, Cobb may not be on the same aging track as other starting pitchers. In the last two seasons, Cobb's average fastball velocity has been over 94 mph, a 2 mph increase from his previous career-high. Given his age, Cobb's next deal will be short-lived, but three or four years at an AAV around $20-$25 million is reasonable enough for the Yankees.

Josh Hader, RP

The greatest Yankees' teams of recent memory have usually been bolstered by a dominant bullpen. Adding a flame-throwing Josh Hader to a strong unit would be the icing on the cake.

Hader's Baseball Savant page is littered with red, putting him towards the top of the leaderboards that matter. Even after a rough 2022 season, Hader came out with the same red-hot stuff, throwing upper 90s fastballs and hellacious sinkers en route to a 1.28 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Hader struck out 36.8 percent of the batters he faced, which despite being below his career rate, landed him in the 99th percentile of the league.

With Wandy Peralta set to enter free agency, Hader is a strong replacement and potential upgrade to Peralta.