Yankees: 3 salary-matching trades that can help NYY address needs

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Aroldis Chapman #54 formerly of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Aroldis Chapman #54 formerly of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

1. Blockbuster Deal With the Chicago Cubs

The Yankees can make a big trade with the Cubs … again.

Call us crazy for this one, but it’s clear the Chicago Cubs need a shake-up arguably worse than we do. They disappointed in a colossal way in 2020 after dropping the National League Wild Card Series to the Miami Marlins … and they were swept.

And here, we can help solve the Cubs’ bullpen issues as well as our contact-hitting/left-handed bat issues. But this one is a six-player deal in order to make it fair and have the salaries match. Let’s take a look at this hypothetical behemoth:

  • Yankees acquire: Anthony Rizzo ($16.5 million), David Bote ($1.01 million) and Victor Caratini (~$1.4 million)
  • Cubs acquire: Aroldis Chapman ($17.2 million), Luke Voit (projected $5.8 million), and Tyler Wade (~$700K)

These salaries don’t match up perfectly, but the Cubs have a lot of money coming off the books and we’re sure they’d love to take on a guy like Voit (though we’d rather not see him go) with that kind of production at first base.

Chapman goes back to the Cubs and helps anchor the bullpen so Craig Kimbrel can move into a setup role (or literally anything else but the closer). Tyler Wade gives the Cubs stout defensive versatility and a left-handed bat, the former of which Chicago will lose by parting with Bote.

As for the Yankees, Rizzo hops in at first base with his stout glove and left-handed bat. He’s a career .271 hitter and on-base machine, so the Bombers would get the best of both worlds. Caratini can become a platoon guy with Higashioka and provide more reliable defense behind the plate in addition to a solid bat (.250 average, .699 OPS in 246 career games). Bote would be a roaming infield guy (he can play first, second or third if needed) and his bat would benefit greatly in this stacked lineup. He’s got great potential but it’s largely been untapped in Chicago.

And the Cubs can absorb these losses. They have Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ, both of whom feel like franchise cornerstones and can provide defensive versatility like Bote. Prospect catcher Miguel Amaya can find a role after Caratini is moved. Rizzo departing avoids yet another future contract headache for Theo Epstein.

The Cubs window is open for both the short- and long-term and this deal helps them in each regard.