The offseason rumors are alive and well just days after the conclusion of the 2022 season, and the New York Yankees are front and center due to Aaron Judge’s free agency. Their disappointing playoff elimination has played a role in exacerbating everything, too.
Upgrades are needed all over the place, even if Judge re-signs. Right now, this team has no first baseman, shortstop or left fielder. Their short at least one capable starting pitcher (and probably two). The bullpen needs to be re-worked yet again.
Exploring the trade market will once again be essential, as it always proves to be for the Yankees over the winter. General manager Brian Cashman‘s particularly good at finding hidden gems that end up contributing far more positively than anybody could’ve ever imagined.
Where he falls short, however, is going after the big names via trade. He either targets the wrong ones or isn’t willing to pay the (rightful) expensive prices for the most sought-after options. But that’s going to have to change since the Yankees can’t address all of their deficiencies with money alone.
The Yankees were linked to a number of high-profile players dating back to last offseason and up until the deadline, but the trades were never made. Could it all change this time around?
3 top trade candidates Yankees need to revisit this offseason
3. Pablo Lopez
We’ve already got ya covered here. Pablo Lopez is once again (reportedly) available in trade talks. The Yankees were said to have had a deal in place for the right-hander at the trade deadline buzzer, but the Marlins backed out, leaving New York a starting pitcher short for the next six weeks.
Might the Yankees now revisit discussions with Miami after Lopez’s value dipped due to his dwindling club control and disastrous second half of 2022? Or might that be an omen to stay away?
Being that the Yankees already have a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino and Frankie Montas, adding Lopez at the right price to the back end would actually do them well. A pitcher of his caliber, under contract through 2024, would help preserve the bullpen and provide a ton of length in the postseason.
The asking price was rumored to be too high last time, but if the Marlins want hitters, they may not have the luxury of calling the shots just a few months after playing hardball.