Good luck to New York Yankees fans trying to do the mental gymnastics and will a Matt Olson trade into existence, because the latest update on pre-lockout negotiations indicates this will never, ever happen under the current conditions.
In other words, if a deal really did get all the way to the one-yard line, SNY’s Andy Martino just pulled a Malcolm Butler.
In this league, you have to give to get. If the Yankees pull off an Olson trade prior to Opening Day, that means Oakland demanded upper-echelon talent in exchange for their superstar first baseman with two years left of team control.
It’s only fair, too! Not every trade can be a fleecing at first blush. Oakland’s management may be cheap, as directed by ownership, but they’re not stupid. The Yankees should be asking for Olson and a pitcher, but to finish the job, they’ll have to offer a package headlined by a top-three prospect in their system.
Considering two of those top three are shortstops, this would seem to be a simple proposition.
Well, not so much.
The Yankees would rather halt talks before choosing between Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, and reportedly expressed a “strong unwillingness” to deal either man.
In other words, they also expressed a “strong unwillingness” to “make a trade at all”.
Yankees will not trade for Matt Olson if they don’t surrender Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe.
“We will never trade you someone good. Please stop asking about people who are good. Would you still like to trade with us?” – Brian Cashman
It’s true that Freddie Freeman is available for money alone. It’s also true that the Yankees don’t like to spend money, so what kind of franchise are we running here, exactly?
The type of franchise that settles for the third-best option on the board, then doesn’t seem to realize why they’re in fourth place.
Perhaps some Yankee fans need to be reminded of this, but it’s not a “negotiating tactic” once someone else arrives with a better package and obtains Olson. Oakland is not indebted to the Yankees just because the rumors make sense. If another, wiser contender says, “Oh, it’ll only cost our third, sixth, and tenth-best prospects for a bonafide home run champ and Gold Glover? OK!” then the discussions are over. Nobody goes back to Brian Cashman for rebuttal.
Oh, and by the way, Peraza’s star is fading, per Keith Law.
Nobody’s asking for the Yankees to be overly aggressive and cave at the first sign of disagreement, but they had what seemed like a wide-open negotiation window in mid-November, and we’re now entering our third month of legally-mandated silence on the trade market. If the team doesn’t regroup when the lockout is lifted and reassess, they’ll be making a big mistake, as well as making some of you who beat the drum look foolish.
Trey Sweeney and Roderick Arias are also in the system! Half your top-10 is made of shortstops! Do something!