Since the Yankees signed Aaron Judge to a 9 year deal, Yankee fans have been eagerly waiting for the next move. After all, Judge does not make the team better, he simply maintains where they were earlier. Yankee fans have about run out of patience and wasted no time predicting GM Brian Cashman’s next move. For many fans, the predicted next move is LHP Carlos Rodon. But what other potential Yankees trades could be coming?
Yankees broadcaster and radio show host Michael Kay has shared with his listeners that he has been informed that the Yankees have a much bigger entree cooking in the kitchen. Almost all big free agent players have signed, so what could that deal possibly be?
Yankees Trade Candidate: Bryan Reynolds
Bryan Reynolds appears to be the most dazzling and realistic choice. He is a 2021 All-Star outfielder who’s outstanding bat would slide wonderfully in the Yankees lineup to address their immediate needs. Someone as good as Bryan Reynolds should be desired no matter what side of the plate he bats and no matter what ballpark he plays.
There is, however, a serious obstacle in obtaining him: the Pittsburgh Pirates front office. Even though Reynolds requested a trade, it certainly does not guarantee that the Pirates will grant his wish. Reynolds is not a free agent until after the 2025 season, so the Pirates would likely have sky-high demands for a return. Honestly, you cannot blame them. The Pirates are desperate for any kind of optimistic future, so in order to pry such a gem out of their hands, and team needs to gift them the future they need. Do the Yankees have prospects to offer? Yes. But will the Yankees be willing to offer them? That is a question that only Brian Cashman can answer. If recent history is an indicator however, the Yankees have very high opinions of their own prospects, and certainly do not toss them out like candy.
Yankees Trade Candidate: Shohei Ohtani
Shohei Ohtani is the epitome of sex appeal for a Yankees blockbuster trade. The Angels have deteriorated like an abandoned building while maintaining Trout and Ohtani, likely 2 of the top 3 players in the sport. Failure of this level is impressive. Why wouldn’t the Angels want to trade Ohtani and restart their team from scratch?
Well, they actually have a large reason. The Angels are for sale and the team is worth more money with Ohtani on it. This makes sense, an buyer for the Angels would pay more to buy the team with an asset like Ohtani who can be turned into a gold mine of money through merchandise, advertisement, and ticket sales. Without Ohtani, therefore without their largest money-making asset, The Angels would no doubt sell for less. Artie Moreno may be a bad baseball executive, but he is certainly not a bad businessman. There is no way he would sell the team low when he has already appreciated the value of his franchise since buying it.
Yankees Free Agent Candidate: Dansby Swanson
Dansby Swanson is the only free agent available who could possibly be a bigger mover than Rodon. He is a World Series winning shortstop, and the Yankees are in dire need for someone to thrive in that position. The match makes all the sense in the world if it weren’t for two obstacles that make this unlikely.
Firstly, Swanson has a price tag that has just been inflated by Carlos Correa and Trea Turner. Both of which have signed contracts for over 10 years and at least $300 million. All three shortstops named are within a year of the same age, and each with 1 World Series ring. It is reasonable to assume that Swanson’s deal, whenever reached, would be comparable to Turner or Correa. That is a tall order to ask the Yankees to do when they already have three $300 million contracts on the books already (even though the Yankees are laying under $300 for Stanton).
Secondly, the Yankees have two shortstop prospects (Perrazza and Volpe) who they seem to think the world of. It may be in the best financial interest for the Yankees to commit now to one of those and redistribute potential Swanson money to other areas where needed, such as the bullpen or left field. If the Yankees do acquire Swanson, it may be reasonable to expect one of those prospects to move tho second or third base, and the other to get traded.
Yankees Trade Candidate: Ketel Marte
Ketel Marte might not be "bigger" than Carlos Rodon, but he could be a sleeper acquisition worth mentioning for a Yankees trade. Even though he is a few years removed from his last All Star appearance (2019), he brings value to the Yankees in more than one way. Firstly, he can hit, plain and simple. Second, his versatility in the field fits the Yankees mode of having diverse players who can go in multiple places.
Adding Marte to the Yankees would be less than a perfect fit. It is not fitting a square peg into a round hole, but more like a round peg into an oval hole: it can work, and it’s pretty close, but lacking perfection. The Yankees are in most need of an outfielder, and Marte does in fact play the outfield. His best position is definitely second base. While the Yankees seem loaded at second base, Marte may not be a bad idea when you consider DJ LeMahieu’s uncertainty with his injury at the end of 2022, and it gives the Yankees freedom to trade the underproducing and over-relied upon Gleyber Torres. Marte has a club option for 2028 and will be making at most $16million a year until then. This is not terribly expensive in Yankees money.
However, like Bryan Reynolds, the obstacle appears when one consideres the team he is coming from. The Diamondbacks are at best the 4th best team in their division with no possibility of catching up to the Dodgers or Padres any time soon. If they are going to unload Marte, it would be for a tall order, possibly too tall for the Yankees give when considering how imperfect the fit may be. If the Yankees are going to send big prospects for a big splash, it may best be for Bryan Reynolds. But Brian Cashman has surprised us before with the mysterious secrets afloat in his mind.
Let us know which Yankees trades you would like to see happen in the comments below!
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images