The rumors are swirling and the New York Yankees, once again, aren’t involved as much as fans would prefer. Nothing new, though.
We can talk about the big-time targets all day. The Yankees could totally used guys like Max Scherzer, Joey Gallo, Byron Buxton, Trevor Story, Kris Bryant, etc. But general manager Brian Cashman isn’t one to get in a bidding war. So why not take this thing off-script?
At this moment, reports are suggesting the San Diego Padres are looking to clear some money by getting rid of Eric Hosmer and his contract. In order to do so, they’re willing to tack on a top-four prospect of theirs. That’s something Cashman should get on the phone and talk to GM AJ Preller about.
Why? Because the Yankees, whether they like it or not, have no option but to exceed the luxury tax unless they want to run the risk of missing the playoffs and dealing with social unrest (even more so!) amongst the fan base.
If the Yankees don’t want to overpay in prospect capital for starters, outfielders or lefty bats before Friday’s deadline, then the situation with the Padres could bail them out with a potential deal here.
Acquiring Hosmer gives them a lefty bat, an everyday first baseman AND another likely top-three prospect (you have to assume whomever they acquire will leap Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia).
This Yankees-Padres trade for Eric Hosmer could be exactly what NYY needs.
Sure, Hosmer might be having a down year and isn’t exactly the Gold Glove first baseman he once was, but he’s a contact-first lefty bat who can provide better defense than anyone on this current Yankees roster. That already checks two boxes.
Let’s toss in the postseason pedigree as well. He’s been to two World Series with the Kansas City Royals, winning one of them, and has batted in 33 runs in 37 career playoff games (10 of which came during his 12 games in the Fall Classic). His slash line might not be pretty (.257/.309/.385) but he’s a winning player with the kind of attitude and gumption this Yankees team could use.
For his career, with runners in scoring position, he’s hitting .272 with a .799 OPS and has struck out just 125 times in those 719 plate appearances. Though he hasn’t been great all-around this year, his clutch hitting is phenomenal. He’s batting .347 with a .946 OPS with runners in scoring position and .339 with an .885 OPS with RISP and two outs.
And really, his contract isn’t that bad. Here’s what he stands to make through 2025 (his age-35 season):
- 2022: $20 million
- 2023: $13 million
- 2024: $13 million
- 2025: $13 million
We’ve seen worse. And if you’re getting one of MacKenzie Gore (P), CJ Abrams (SS), Luis Campusano (C) or Robert Hassel (OF), it’d be an absolute steal. Ship them Luke Voit and Clint Frazier and eat Hosmer’s salary. What’s the harm? Voit can start anew once his knee heals and contribute to a contender while Frazier gets a change of scenery and can come off the bench as another outfielder. The Pads will simply say goodbye to Brian O’Grady and call it a day.
Based on these reports, San Diego is desperate to get under the luxury tax before adding anyone else. You can bet no NL team will help them do that. The Yankees can if they wanted to, and they could upgrade their major league roster, trim some fat of their own, and significantly boost the farm system (which is already among the best in the league).
Then, from there, you’ve got plenty of options to acquire other players and/or wait for more in the offseason.