The New York Yankees must, must, must enter 2024 with a revamped offense, and with a weak free agent class of hitters, the trade market marks their best chance to address their underwhelming roster.
Balance is the name of the game; if the Yankees' braintrust can find left-handed hitters with light-tower power, the fan base would be forever indebted to them. A few OBP-forward agitators would be nice, too, and the St. Louis Cardinals and Yankees will be linked together daily until the conclusion of the offseason.
But, beyond Brendan Donovan and Juan Soto, there are plenty of pivots available to the Yankees -- far more than there are in free agency. If you're not comfortable committing to Cody Bellinger long-term (and we aren't), then it's Matt Chapman or glue guys. That's a bleak reality. The trade market, like an iceberg, reaches further below the surface, which is where this front office used to do its best work.
If Brian Cashman can keep his foot out of his mouth long enough not to offend these players, their agents, and their families, the Yankees might just be in business here.
All names below have been mentioned on MLB Trade Rumors' Top 25 Offseason Trade Candidates (and 'Others of Note' section).
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Brewers reliever Devin Williams (expensive), Marlins' Josh Bell, Mets' Jeff McNeill (maybe two years ago), Rays' Harold Ramirez
4 surprise trade candidates Yankees should be all over
Luis Robert Jr., Chicago White Sox
No, Luis Robert Jr. is not a lefty. Half of this list is composed of powerful non-lefties who can change the trajectory of any game with one swing of the bat, no questions asked. You know how you balance that out? Get a switch-hitting second baseman like Jorge Polanco while jettisoning Gleyber Torres. There. Problem solved.
Regardless of handedness, Robert Jr. should be the first name considered if things go south in the Yankees' Juan Soto chase. So far this offseason, it's been too much Cease and not enough Robert when insiders examine the groundswell of Chicago White Sox-related muck, but if any team is in need of a total teardown, it's those guys. Lou Bob finally broke out last summer with a menacing 38 homers, 5.0 bWAR, and a 128 OPS+ that landed him a breathtaking stint in the Home Run Derby. He's under control on a reasonable deal through 2025, with team options the next two seasons. If the Sox want to get serious about jumpstarting something, trading Robert Jr. needs to be on their radar, if not in their manifest.