When the MLB Lockout veil is lifted (soon?), the New York Yankees have many roster holes to prioritize in the ensuing frenzy. Perhaps the easiest to fill will be the first base spot, with both trade options (Oakland A’s slugger Matt Olson) and free agent additions (Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo) floating in the pool.
Olson may very well be the ideal candidate; he’d be a home run addition to the Yankees lineup even if nothing of note materializes at shortstop, and would instantly be an upgrade both defensively and offensively for a team that ended up devoid of power more often than not in a disappointing 2021 season.
From what we’ve heard, though, a trade got unlikelier just before the lockout, and we can’t imagine much has changed without a sudden pivot from Brian Cashman.
In any potential deal, the suddenly-rebuilding A’s would surely want Yankees shortstop prospect Oswald Peraza, the team’s No. 2 or 3 prospect and one of many young middle infielders who broke out and created a mid-level glut in 2021. Per sources, though, Cashman was unwilling to include Peraza prior to the lockout in any Olson deal, which threw all of us off the scent … except, apparently, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay.
Kay has grand designs for the Bombers, pitching a wide variety of Olson deals on a recent episode of “Talkin’ Yanks” while also saying the team is likely to bet on their internal shortstops instead of reaching for Carlos Correa.
So … how does an Olson trade get done, then, if the team still plans to bet on both Peraza and Volpe? Or have they chosen one over the other, a decision reinforced by the international market import of Roderick Arias? What does Kay know?
Yankees Rumors: Matt Olson, Ramon Laureano trade in next 24 hours?
Fans hoping for a major shortstop splash will be dissuaded by Kay’s dismissal of Carlos Correa as a perfect fit that just won’t happen (been saying this for months!), but the fan base should be intrigued by his repeated invocations of Olson’s name.
At the start of the segment, Kay states that he believes the Yankees will try to get something done with Olson quickly. While making his case for the rest of the roster, he casually slips in how odd it would be to replace Aaron Hicks while he’s ostensibly finally active, but still pontificates about attaching Ramon Laureano to the Olson deal he remarked on earlier, which would provide some very necessary insurance.
While we’ve mostly focused our speculation on “Olson plus a starting pitcher,” perhaps New York has an inroad on Laureano to complete their outfield picture/fill the Brett Gardner spot.
So, who goes to Oakland? Kay began the offseason by beating the drum for a Gleyber Torres/Luke Voit package, but it still feels likely the A’s would shy away from any veteran additions — at least, they would unless a massively appealing prospect was also attached.
Is there going to be real traction here in the next 24 hours, or is Kay just hoping against hope like the rest of us?