The Yankees made the unimpeachably correct decision bringing Anthony Volpe north to start the 2023 season as the team's Opening Day shortstop.
But thanks to a starting pitching injury crunch and a long-running roster depth issue, they still have some last-second scrambling to do before the curtain rises on Opening Day.
Infield? Despite Oswald Peraza's demotion, still kind of overloaded. Left field? Question mark. Rotation? Technically packed, but could use some more dependable innings there. Could always use that. Could use that, even if they were eight deep with healthy starters right now (they're not). Catcher depth? Absolutely.
Only issue? It's difficult to pull off a trade in Spring Training, once teams have theoretically spent all offseason crafting rosters they're proud of. If it's ever going to happen, though, that time would be right now, when many clubs are stumbling through their own crunches, trying to figure out how to account for a last-minute injury, roster glut, or overperforming top prospect.
As the opt-outs fly and the 40-man shuffles run rampant, the Yankees should keep tabs on these three potential targets over the next 24 hours.
3 Yankees trades that should happen before Opening Day
3. Corey Dickerson, OF, Washington Nationals
Every year, a helpful depth piece for some contender ends up on the worst roster in the world, with the sole purpose of hoarding them for an eventual deadline trade to a desperate club. This year, that pairing is Corey Dickerson and the horrific Washington Nationals outfield.
He doesn't fit their stated goal of getting run for the kids, like starters CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore. He doesn't fit their alternate goal of losing many, many games (Opening Day starter Patrick Corbin, everybody!).
Last season, Dickerson posted an OPS+ of 100, hitting ,267 with 6 homers in 297 plate appearances as a roving outfielder for the Cardinals. St. Louis has far too many young bats to fit into their outfield picture, so they moved on from the veteran, who doesn't turn 34 until mid-May.
The year before, Dickerson hit .282 with a .779 OPS in the second half for the Blue Jays. Someone's going to execute his Escape from DC at some point. Why not the Yankees, and why not right now? Dickerson is a lefty swinger who'll provide (at least) average offense, and he's built for the ballpark. He's more consistent than Rafael Ortega as an Aaron Hicks backup plan, and he's dirt cheap at $2.25 million for the season.
Don't wait for that figure to be sliced in half by the deadline. Just go for it now.