2. Kevin Newman
The Pirates. Another bad team. Another team familiar doing business with the Yankees. And with Oneil Cruz and Cole Tucker on this roster, is there really a need for Kevin Newman, who’s now going to see a salary increase as he enters arbitration? What’s more valuable — trading him for assets to continue your rebuild or shifting him over to second base when he’s only under club control through 2025? You tell us.
Newman only has two full MLB seasons under his belt. He debuted in 2018, had a tremendous 2019, got stuck in the shortened 2020 that may have halted his development, and then had a really bad offensive campaign in 2021. The defense is still good, though! And we’ll take the bat’s potential over whatever the aforementioned free agents have to offer (110 OPS+ and .308 average in 2019).
He’s got a positive dWAR and plus DRS numbers. Generally regarded as rock steady with the glove. Three errors in 132 games at shortstop in 2021. Sounds great. Like we said, the bar is fairly low. Don’t need Omar Vizquel out there.
The former first-round pick could be had on the cheaper side, too, given his dreadful bat in 2021. The defense is there, though, and the offense could come around if he’s protected by much better hitters in the lineup.