2. Joey Gallo, Anthony Volpe and Randy Vasquez for Matt Olson
Joey Gallo returning to the AL West with much dimmer lights?! The fact of the matter is that the Yankees will not be maximizing the talent of their roster with Joey Gallo in left field. Most of his reps have come in center and right. And he clearly wasn’t equipped to handle New York for two-plus months, even as a supporting cast member. The Yankees probably won’t get rid of him…but they should.
The A’s can supplement that loss of a lefty bat (and outfielder in Marte) by adding Gallo, who should cost around $8-$9 million in 2022 before hitting free agency in 2023. He’d be a versatile option who would be placed in the right situation, considering Bob Melvin and Co. know how to maximize talent, whereas Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone do not. The A’s have a bunch of money coming off the books, and they love rentals. Rentals don’t hang around very long.
And then, of course, the Yankees surrender their No. 1 overall prospect in Volpe. It’s not what you want, but at least you can hang onto Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera, shed Gallo’s salary (which will essentially cancel out Olson’s) and mayyyybe sign Carlos Correa, Trevor Story or Corey Seager.
Volpe rocketed up every single prospect ranking in 2021 and garnered a ton of attention from Baseball America and Keith Law. He’s expected to be the real deal after putting it all together for a full season, and the A’s would be able to fill their need in the pipeline for a shortstop since guys like Nick Allen (who can’t hit for power) and Max Muncy (who won’t be hitting MLB anytime soon) aren’t exactly answers at the moment.
The A’s love some high-ceiling pitching, too, and Randy Vasquez provides just that. The right-hander made it through three levels and all the way up to Double-A in 2021, logging a 2.52 ERA with 130 strikeouts in 23 games (21 starts), totaling 107.1 innings. Then again, the Yankees might like this youngster too much, so you can sub him for a number of the other promising pitchers in the organization’s pipeline.