Lee Jung-hoo, the real Yankees and what’s between them… The big clubs are coming, and the evil empire is in full swing.

The New York Yankees, Major League Baseball’s most prestigious franchise, nicknamed the Evil Empire for their ability to buy superstars with vast amounts of money, are having a dismal season this year. They are in last place in the American League East, a division that is loaded with powerhouse teams.

They’re 73-72 (.503), which is more than a winning percentage, but they’re a whopping 18.5 games behind division leader Baltimore, so their chances of winning the division are already mathematically zero. The wild card race is also seven games out. Given their remaining games, they’ll miss the postseason unless a miracle happens.

All of their big-ticket players, including Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Rodon, have been plagued by injuries and underperformance. Aaron Judge, who signed a nine-year, $360 million contract after last season, was out longer than expected with a freak injury. Now, the Yankees are expected to go on a spending spree this offseason to restore some pride.

The outfield is of particular interest. Aaron Hicks, once the team’s top outfield prospect, was released after struggling, and the prospects expected to take over have struggled as well. Additionally, Harrison Bader, the team’s starting center fielder, was claimed off waivers as the team’s chances of making the postseason dwindled. The team is looking to build a new outfield around Aaron Judge.

The problem is that they don’t have much to sell this offseason. Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), the top free agent, is a risk. The former MVP is on a roll this year, but he has a history of underperforming in his last two seasons. That means we don’t know if this year’s performance is a true rebound or a temporary bounce. Nevertheless, Bellinger’s agent, Scott Boras, is determined to get more than $200 million. That should give most teams pause, including the Yankees.

Mike Trout (LA Angels) could also be traded, but Trout has struggled with injuries in recent years. Trout has played in just 82 games this year and has an adjusted OPS of 130. While a 130 adjusted OPS is great, it’s a far cry from his career average (173). He’s also in his mid-30s and has a lot of salary left until 2030. The Yankees can’t afford to lose him to a downward spiral when they already have so many high-priced players on the roster.

The next player recommended by local media is Lee Jung-hoo (25, Kiwoom). Currently sidelined with an ankle injury, Lee plans to challenge for the major leagues through the posting system (closed competitive bidding) after this season. Despite his injury this year, the major league’s evaluation of Lee is almost complete. We’ve already seen enough of his skills and character. The question is how much to bet on him.

The lack of high OBP left-handed hitting outfielders on the market is likely to work in your favor. While Lee has never played in the major leagues before, this is a program that has seen the success of senior outfielders Kang Jeong-ho and Kim Ha-sung. Lee has been watched by major league clubs longer than either of them, and is considered to be competitive enough, at least at the plate. Choo Shin-soo (41‧SSG), who has been playing in the major leagues for 16 years, also applauds that “at least hitting works in the major leagues.”

The New York Post, the largest local media outlet, has already mentioned Lee as one of the Yankees’ offseason targets, and The Athletic, a North American sports publication and subsidiary of The New York Times, also suggested Lee could be an option on Wednesday. Whatever the outcome, it’s clear that the New York media is interested.

“South Korean star Lee Jung-hoo is expected to be on the market this offseason,” The Athletic wrote, “The 25-year-old was the KBO League MVP last year and posted an OPS of 0.863 in 85 games this season before fracturing his left ankle. He would be an attractive option if the Yankees are looking to add another contact-oriented hitter.

Lee is expected to cost a lower total than Bellinger, and he doesn’t have to give up any players in a trade. While he’s expected to cost a hefty total, he’s less risky than either player. Plus, Lee will be 26 next year. He has the advantage of being in his prime.안전놀이터

In fact, the Yankees are known to be a team that has been watching Lee for a long time. They have a huge thirst for quality outfielders. They’ve gotten rid of quite a few players and have some payroll room. The Yankees have a team payroll of around $278.8 million this year. Next year’s guaranteed payroll is around $189 million. While they still have a lot of guaranteed salary at the top of the league beyond 2025, they still have room to buy a Class A outfielder. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s where they go from here.

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