Just about every Yankees fan wants Freddie Freeman to come to New York. And we’re on board with that, too. But are we to believe the rumors and reports connecting the Bombers to the World Series champ?
In previous years, outside of the Gerrit Cole signing, the Yankees have been known to jump into negotiations for star players later in the game so their early involvement didn’t jack up the price since, well, everyone from agents and rival GMs try to rip off general manager Brian Cashman and Co. every year.
That’s why it’s understandable if some of us are a bit wary about signing Freeman to a $30 million AAV contract or trading for Oakland Athletics slugger Matt Olson. Who says Freeman won’t ask for even more from New York? And who’s to say A’s GM Billy Beane won’t try to gouge the Yankees’ farm system? It’s really more complicated than you might think (even though sometimes we’ve framed it as much easier than we’d like to believe).
Nonetheless, speaking of Olson, the San Diego Padres are reportedly interested in trading for the A’s slugger, which further dilutes the market for him and puts the Yankees in a tough spot given how good the Pads’ farm system is.
Then again … what if the Padres’ interest opens up the door for another Yankees’ solution? It’s one we’ve discussed before but it hasn’t garnered support or picked up much steam, and it’s at least understandable why.
What if New York explored an Eric Hosmer trade with San Diego to help them clear first base for Olson? And before you freak out, there are worthwhile aspects of this argument to divulge.
Could the Padres’ interest in Matt Olson result in a Yankees-Eric Hosmer trade?
Let’s go over the positives here:
- The Padres are reportedly willing to eat some money in any trade for Hosmer
- The Padres are reportedly willing to include a top-five prospect in any trade for Hosmer
- Hosmer is only signed for four more seasons and will be making just $13 million per year from 2023-2025 ($21 million luxury tax hit in 2022, though)
- Despite Hosmer’s “down” 2021 campaign, he still ranked in the upper percentiles for max exit velocity, average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, expected batting average, strikeout percentage and whiff percentage
- Hosmer is hardly injured, having missed only 48 games since the start of 2015
- This trade would cost the Yankees very little in prospect capital
- Freeman is better offensively than Hosmer
- Olson is better offensively than Hosmer
- Olson will be making way less than Hosmer over the next two seasons
- Both have more power than Hosmer
- Both are better defensively than Hosmer
- Freeman costs money alone
- Olson costs prospects, could be an extension candidate after 2022, and would likely provide much more production than Hosmer over the course of four seasons
A lot to consider! But Hosmer certainly isn’t a “bad” option, especially if the Yankees take that top prospect from San Diego and flip it for more starting pitching.
With Luke Voit all but officially no longer a Yankee and the need for more lefty hitters, healthier players and better defenders, Hosmer checks a lot of boxes. And remember, the Yankees don’t need the best player at every position on their roster.
If they can upgrade a few qualities and characteristics here and there (which Hosmer would fulfill), then we’re looking at a much more suitable contender.