Could the general managers meetings in Las Vegas result in early action for the New York Yankees, who need to start executing their offseason checklist arguably sooner than anybody? Based on what Brian Cashman’s telling reporters, that could be the case.
Though his first chat with the press was rather disheartening — he offered a “no comment” on Aaron Judge contract extension talks and said Josh Donaldson would be the team’s starting third baseman next year — he came back strong to confirm the Yankees have engaged with Judge’s agent and suggested trades could be on the way rather soon.
According to Cashman, multiple teams have reached out to the Yankees about their “abundance of infielders.” Does that mean the young prospects, such as Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera? Does that mean veterans like Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres?
Regardless of the specifics, the Yankees need to make room on the infield and most fans don’t really care how.
If they can free up money and part with one or two of the veterans, great. If they can trade some of the top prospects for impact players, also great. Just do something. And figure it out fast so the offseason picture is as clear as it can possibly be early on with so many questions in need of being answered.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman hints trades could be on the way early in offseason
The most obvious trade candidate is Torres, who was reportedly dangled at this year’s deadline. He’s fallen out of favor in New York, for the most part, after his struggles at shortstop. His return to second base was certainly a help, but it was nowhere close to his 2018/2019 output. Now that he’s set to make nearly $10 million in 2023 with two years left of control, the Yankees may want to free up some money and move him while his value has been recouped.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem there will be much value/demand for guys like Donaldson and IKF. Another team might be interested in IKF’s versatility and would be at least willing to take his salary off the Yankees’ hands, but it’ll be nearly impossible to trade Donaldson, who’s owed a $21.75 million base salary and an $8 million buyout after 2023. Unless the Yankees eat a significant portion of that or attach a top prospect to a potential deal, it’s not happening.
As for Peraza, Volpe and Cabrera, the Yankees might be best off moving forward with them so they can have some cheap, controllable talent, which would allow them to add elsewhere (i.e. Judge extension, new left fielder, re-sign Rizzo, rotation/bullpen help, etc.). If not, Peraza and Cabrera undoubtedly have value after their impressive MLB debuts in late 2022.
It’s unclear what’s to come, but there are a lot of potential moving parts. Most fans would probably vote to get the ineffective/underwhelming veterans out, move forward with the youth, and address other needs in free agency.