Predicting landing spots for 4 former Yankees still stuck in free agency

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The New York Yankees sit just about $3 million away from the dreaded Steve Cohen Tax threshold, and have made it perfectly clear they will not be passing that mark in 2023.

If you, the fan, want another significant addition made, you’ll have to hope some team covets Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson beyond reason. Maybe, if MLB opens up a trade pipeline to Korea, the Yankees can find someone to absorb their salaries. Until then, the Bombers might be stuck.

That means there probably isn’t a reunion in the cards between the Yankees and any of their former players who are still on the market.

You know we’re at the dullest point in the offseason when we’ve got to fend off takes on how the Yankees should give Gary Sánchez a second chance (to do what, exactly?), but here we are, spinning around and deflecting insta-boring takes with our double-bladed Take Lightsaber.

Despite Jon Heyman’s recent efforts to drum up support, Sánchez will likely be taking a one-year pay cut once he chooses his next home. So will these other recent ex-Yankees, who are still in need of new homes. They’ll be renting, not buying, but they’ll still be able to help a team (or help a tanker create a trade deadline asset out of thin air).

Apologies to other former Yankees like Andrew McCutchen (would be a good fit back in the Bronx!) and Ian Kennedy, whose career in New York feels like four decades ago. Both men are also still on the market, though the 38-year-old Kennedy probably isn’t in demand on a major-league deal.

Predicting landing spots for 4 former New York Yankees free agents

Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Aroldis Chapman Prediction: Miami Marlins

Rumors emerged last week that the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres were prepared to battle over who could be more disappointed by Chapman’s inability to reach his previous ceiling.

Alas … that all may have been BS? A week has passed, and no one’s been able to corroborate Carlos Baerga’s usually-reliable scooping.

That means it could be back to the drawing board for Chapman, the ex-Yankees closer who was finally felled in 2022 by a failed tattoo. When he bolted team workouts just before the ALDS, he fled to Miami, a landing spot that makes more sense for him entering 2023 than any of the Wild Card contenders do.

The last time we saw Chapman, his control had all but deserted him, and his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it velocity was down several ticks, to the point where you’d probably be able to catch up to it even if you blinked a time or two.

Best-case scenario, the Marlins will be able to flip Chapman to the Dodgers or Padres at the deadline after half of his one-year, $6 million contract has been absorbed already. Worst-case? He gets to relax in Miami as his career winds down. No harm, no foul.