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The New York Yankees didn’t reach their overall goal of a World Series this season and are now entering the offseason with big roster questions.
Just days ago there were reports that the American League rival Houston Astros were targeting now re-signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo, whom the Yankees signed to an extension promptly. This could be a trend that we see play out with the Bronx Bombers and their offseason moves.
The biggest concern is of course the ever looming fate of superstar slugger Aaron Judge.
Judge had a historic season and will demand plenty of money and will be a priority. Though that domino is one that has yet to fall, the Yankees could make some major moves in the 2022-23 offseason that will impact the rest of the MLB’s moves.
Moving Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson
Hicks and Donaldson have both been busts since being acquired by the Yankees.
Aaron Hicks spent most of the season on the bench after losing his spot to Andrew Benintendi, who had a quietly strong season. With three years and $30 million dollars left on his deal he will need to be moved sooner rather than later.
Josh Donaldson has been a liability at best at the plate since being traded for from Minnesota. He is owed a hefty $25 million, which is too much for a bat that can’t find a ball.
New York unloading these two will open up some space for the moves coming up later.
Target and Sign Justin Verlander
With all the offensive power the Yankees have comes an equally underwhelming bullpen.
Gerrit Cole is easily their best pitcher, Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes are competing for the second spot. This makes the Yankees one of if not the most top heavy bullpens in a league where you need at least two aces to compete.
Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in this generation. The only thing is, he just won a World Series with Houston and will be on their radar. Giving him a healthy contract, preferably 3+ years/37+ million dollars, would be good enough to possibly lure him to the Big Apple.
This would give the Yankees a potent one-two punch and a moral victory of landing a guy they have had three chances to get.
This move cripples the Astros, strengthens New York, and puts them squarely at the top of the MLB’s betting odds.
Sign Nippon Baseball Superstar Masataka Yoshida
If there is one thing that we know, it’s that you can’t have too many bats in the MLB.
Masataka Yoshida is one of the most elite bats in the world, not just Japan. His 80 bat control and swinging strike percentage of 6% is unreal. He recorded .335 BA and 201 wRC+ which would have made him a top five offensive player in the MLB last season.
Adding a player who could have Shohei Ohtani-esque star power is a big move. This would also give the Yankees an even more potent rotation for deep runs into the playoffs.
Trade Deivi Garcia and Gleyber Torres
To make some of the prior moves work, you have to move off some assets. Part of that is letting some more minor pieces with some “name draw” go to other teams.
Garcia is a young pitcher who hasn’t been able to crack the roster over the past couple of years. Torres is a good young second baseman that has a very low impact price tag of $9 million.
Trading them could get you a nice name in return or some impactful pieces to build a complete roster.
Pursue Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani
This is a tough one but the Yankees have been pretty good at making the impossible happen over the years. The Los Angeles Angels aren’t going anywhere fast and Ohtani and Trout are on the bad ends of that path. Ohtani is a young and full of star power, Trout is experienced with good baseball left play. Both the Yankees need I a bad way.
Trout would give the Yankees a bat with scoring potential as well as some speed in a power packed rotation. Ohtani offers that, plus the potential to be an ace on the mound in the same game.
If the Yankees wanted to put a package of a Deivi Garcia, Gleyber Torres, Josh Donaldson and some prospects together to get one of the LA duo, it could bode well for them going forward.
A blockbuster trade like this would make the Yankees the east coast version of the 2019-20 LA Dodgers. The Yankees need that extra boost to get over the hump and why not add a player like Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani to get you there?
The 2022-23 offseason is going to be an interesting one and the Yankees could make a plethora of moves to impact the landscape. This year showed they can achieve some great things and now is the time to make the moves to do them consistently.