Jake Cronenworth (or Ha-Seong Kim), UTIL
Which long-term infielder deal would interest the Yankees more? Cronenworth is a 2021 and 2022 All-Star who fell on hard times this season (92 OPS+, 1.1 bWAR) and bats from the left side. His versatility stands out; he can cover first and second regularly, and even slotted in at shortstop on occasion in San Diego (get ready to learn third base, buddy...). His extension is about to begin in 2024, keeping him in place for seven more seasons at $80 million. That's certainly a long tenure for someone whose regression has already began.
Kim, whose name popped up in trade rumors all last season before the Padres held firm, is a bWAR merchant (5.7!) whose counting numbers don't quite pop the same way (.264, 17 homers, 113 OPS+). He's heavily rewarded for his fielding prowess -- and, again, versatility -- playing short, second and third with some regularity. He's under team control through 2025, if his mutual option is picked up.
Kim is a better ball player who comes with less of a commitment attached. He's, unfortunately, a right-handed batter. Cronenworth is a lefty and an expensive bounce-back candidate, but could be included in a larger trade as a sweetener (hey, we'll help you twice by taking on a long-term concern...). If the Yankees only have one move in mind, it should be Kim, and they should look for lineup balance elsewhere. But they could attach Cronenworth to...