News Report: Yankees Linked to 2-Time All Star Projected to Sign $280 Million Deal….

Even as the New York Yankees look to return to the playoffs in 2024 after an offseason of significant acquisitions — led by a trade for star slugger Juan Soto — it’s never too early to predict what the next class of free agents might offer.

In a report for the New York Post, Joel Sherman looked ahead to the market for two-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion Alex Bregman, who is projected to earn a nine-year, $286 million contract upon hitting free agency at the end of the season. Sherman linked the Yankees to a potential bidding war with their crosstown rival to secure his services for 2025.

“I suspect the Mets and Yankees will be renewing financial fisticuffs more frequently,” Sherman wrote. “And one (potential bidding war) that I think could be particularly interesting involves Alex Bregman.”

Outlining the Yankees’ potential interest in Bregman, Sherman noted that he would fill one of the team’s biggest roster needs as a third baseman. The team’s projected 2024 starter at that spot, D.J. LeMahieu is 35 years old and their next-best option, Oswald Peraza, is still an unproven big-league product.

“They don’t really believe in Oswald Peraza as a starting player, and there is no one in the minors even ready to pretend to contend for the position,” Sherman reported. “There is also this: LeMahieu can have a strong year and, with Gleyber Torres due to hit free agency, switch back to second and put the Yanks in the market at third.”

LeMahieu is expected to hit lead off for the Yankees to open the 2024 season, but his career-low .243 batting average from last season suggests he will need to bounce back if he’s going to retain that spot. Peraza is only 23 years old, but a .191/.267/.272 slash line from last season indicates why the Yankees might not see him as a long-term solution at third.

In an eight-year MLB career, Bregman has slashed .274/.373/.487, racking up 25 homers and 98 RBI last season. He earned MVP votes in 2022 and 2023, as well as his All-Star seasons of 2018 and 2019. With 41 homers and 112 RBI in 2019, he also nabbed his sole Silver Slugger award.

Though the Astros could extend Bregman, as they did to the tune of five years at $151 million for Jose Altuve, the projected cost may be prohibitive.

“Bregman is still in his prime, and he and (agent Scott) Boras will expect to be paid accordingly,” Mike Axisa reported for CBS Sports. “And, frankly, they are likely seeking the kind of contract Astros owner Jim Crane has avoided.”

In addition to highlighting a link between the Yankees and Bregman, Sherman indicated the team could be locked in bidding wars with the Mets for some additional marquee free agents after the 2024 season.

“There already has been speculation that the New York squads will be in a dollar duel next offseason for Juan Soto,” he added. “Unless there is residual distaste over a February 2023 arbitration that got contentious then spilled into public criticism by Corbin Burnes against the (Milwaukee) Brewers —at a time when (Mets president) David Stearns was merely an advisor and no longer running baseball operations — then the right-hander is likely to draw interest from both New York teams.”

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