New York Yankees fans, by now, are well aware that you have to give to get, even if the team on the other end of a blockbuster trade is engaging in a nonsensical fire sale.
Sorry, haters, but you won’t read any legitimate “Andújar/Frazier for top talent” trade proposals over here. You’ve just been memeing a person who doesn’t exist for the past three years. The embarrassing goofing is coming from inside the house. I honestly feel bad for you.
Truth be told, a “Yankees tax” is real. Nobody wants to help the most successful franchise in baseball if they don’t have to … excepting the 2021 Cubs and Rangers, who paid their stars’ salaries in exchange for a slightly beefier prospect package last summer.
If the Yankees are going to pry the final two years of Matt Olson away from Oakland, it’ll cost one of their top three prospects, as well as an established major leaguer and two more high-impact minor-leaguers.
In essence, we don’t see how Oswald Peraza and Luke Voit aren’t in that trade, followed by two additional top-15 talents.
In our personal package, that’s Luis Medina and Everson Pereira, who may end up being the steal of this entire conversation.
Yankees fans should prepare to surrender these players in a Matt Olson trade.
Whether fans want to admit it or not, Clarke Schmidt has lost a significant amount of shine from his Spring Training 2020 peak — not quite as much as Deivi Garcia, but still more than enough that he can’t be anything more than the fourth piece in this deal. I’d suspect the Yankees would rather hold onto him and see what they have than sell extremely low. If it takes Luis Gil to complete this deal, you’d have to think the Yankees would be willing to bark up that tree, too.
For now, though, it seems likely that only one of the team’s top three prospects will need to be included, and Peraza — a very gifted shortstop whose bat is just a tick behind Anthony Volpe’s — seems like the most likely compromise.
As for Voit’s inclusion, can we please stop pretending like putting him in a prospective trade is some sort of poison pill a la Frazier and Andújar? There will be a defensive downgrade, sure, but even in the cavernous Oakland Coliseum, Voit’s potent bat will be an effective way for the A’s to at least approximate contention at half the price.
A healthy Voit has never not hit in a Yankees uniform. Dragged down by his eventual season-ending hernia in 2019, the slugger still managed a 124 OPS+. His 60-game 2020 season was unimpeachable; he was an Olson replicant with the bat, leading the AL in homers and making an MVP case. Only his nagging injuries should give teams pause — but this isn’t a long-term pact. It’s an excellent stopgap with three cheap years attached. Pretending he’s not valuable or viable is disingenuous.
And nobody sleep on Pereira, either. 20 bombs in 188 minor league ABs is nothing to sneeze at — at the age of 20!
Everyone agrees the Yankees and the A’s are a great match on paper. Now, Billy Beane just has to sign on and exchange his lefty masher for a top-100 shortstop prospect, a first base star, a future high-end reliever or back end starter, and a toolsy outfielder. His move.
Of course … this trade could always get larger.