Certainly not. Though we’ll never know how close it got, it felt like New York had an exclusive negotiating window in the middle of November, then failed to pull off a deal (and still won’t include Oswald Peraza in any package).
Waiting for the transaction flurry is understandable … in a way. Once the new CBA is settled, the Yankees will know far more about how much they can spend, what the luxury tax penalties look like, and how desperate free agent stars are to lock onto some ready and willing team.
But what about trades? Is there really any sort of advantage for waiting to pull off a mega-deal? Won’t both sides be a bit more desperate to get a deal done, resulting in some sort of equally-painful double overpay?
The verdict is in, and the Yankees were right to wait to spend, but wrong to wait for this.
Now, they’ve got all sorts of other opponents in the ring for an Olson trade. Atlanta could use the Georgia boy to fill in for Freddie Freeman. The Dodgers could swing a deal if they can’t woo Freeman. The free-wheeling Texas Rangers have shown interest.
And also … the Cleveland … Guardians have emerged this week? Are we sure about that?
Yankees Rumors: Could NY lose Matt Olson to AL dark horse?
According to Guardians insider Paul Hoynes … the theoretical framework of a Cleveland trade for Olson could work, though our guard is still up on this one.
After all, don’t treat Hoynes’ musings as gospel. He’s paid to write about the Guardians. He’s paid to speculate about ways to make them better. The verbiage he uses to describe this trade feels very conditional. “If X, Then Y, Then…”
If you ask us, though he’s a legitimate reporter, Hoynes’ words hold as much weight here as any fanalyst’s here; this isn’t Jack Curry dropping breadcrumbs. It’s hope for a better tomorrow, knowing Cleveland’s in a place to take advantage of Oakland’s slippage.
Here’s what Hoynes wrote about the potential trade verbatim:
"If the A’s are going to rebuild as has been speculated, Olson would certainly look good hitting in the middle of the Guards’ lineup. If a deal did take place, first baseman Bobby Bradley would probably be one of the players headed to the A’s along with a middle infielder and possibly a starting pitcher. Olson, with two years of control left, is eligible for arbitration. His salary is projected to be $12 million for 2022."
Cleveland has a path to Olson if they so desire. If they have the chips for a major deal, they’d be better served by saving Nolan Jones for themselves, though, and trading lesser assets for A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano, who’s also reportedly available.
They’ve had an outfield problem in The Land since the days of Grady Sizemore, and that maneuver would give the Guardians a center field captain, rather than topping off an 85-win team with a power-hitting first baseman.
An Olson trade is possible, in theory. But it’s improbable in practice.