This expanded blockbuster trade with Athletics can save Yankees’ offseason


Before the lockout ruined baseball fans’ hopes and dreams, it felt like a foregone conclusion that the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics would be working out a trade to help one another put their plans into focus.

The Yankees need a first baseman, shortstop, center fielder and starting pitcher, all of which are commodities the A’s possess, to varying degrees of effectiveness. In return, the Bombers have one of the deepest farm systems in MLB to help assist Oakland with its expedited rebuild/re-tool.

On the surface, it was assumed Matt Olson would be the top target for the Yankees given the obvious need/fit.

But then it expanded to a potential multi-player package that posited the inclusion of either Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt or Frankie Montas.

Things got really crazy when Joel Sherman of the New York Post wondered if shortstop Elvis Andrus would be of interest to New York since the veteran is a free agent after 2022 (barring a vesting option). Then we figured, hey, why not, let’s ask about Tony Kemp and/or Ramon Laureano! Can’t hurt, right?

Now, another intriguing asset could be made available when the A’s start discussing more aggressively post-lockout.

Here’s what ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel wrote (subscription required) this week:

"“As the offseason began, rumors were swirling that the A’s were considering moving stars Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, both of whom have two years of control remaining. If those players move, Oakland’s other core players would also presumably be available, including starting pitchers Sean Manaea (one year of control), Chris Bassitt (one) and Frankie Montas (two). Some whispered that catcher Sean Murphy (four years of control left) could also be had for the right offer.”"

Sean Murphy?! Four years of control?! A potential way to get off Gary Sanchez’s $8 million salary in 2022?! And we thought we were getting greedy considering this earlier in the offseason!

The 27-year-old from Peekskill, New York (!) is a Gold Glove catcher and a totally serviceable hitter, and will probably produce similar numbers to El Gary assuming he’s protected in a more talented Yankees lineup. He batted .216 with 47 runs scored, 17 homers and 58 RBI in 119 games last year. He OBP’ed .306 and OPS’ed .710 with a slightly below average 98 OPS+. But if you’re getting a Gold Glove out of it, that can be properly dealt with.

So let’s amend our trade proposal and go a little bit crazy.

Yankees Receive: Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt and Sean Murphy

Athletics Receive: Luke Voit, Domingo Germán, Oswald Peraza, Luis Gil, Austin Wells, Trey Sweeney, and Elijah Dunham

Is that enough? That’s an MLB first baseman, an MLB starting pitcher, three top-seven prospects and a lottery ticket. If not, toss in Estevan Florial, or substitute one of the position players for pitcher Luis Medina. Maybe we even squeeze in Sánchez and see if the A’s would be interested in one year before his $8 million comes off the books. Wouldn’t be insane.

This would be a haul for the Yankees and would rightfully require a haul in return. Sleep on it, no?