Trade Giancarlo Stanton and/or DJ LeMahieu at any cost
With that aggression, costs be damned! Again, that's no longer part of the Yankee way. Every investment is calculated down to the penny and every risk factor is considered before Cashman dips his quill in ink and signs off on it. It's exhausting and rarely produces results.
But the reality is there needs to be some level of carelessness on the financial front. They gave $360 million to Judge and $162 million to Carlos Rodón, which was a start, but now it's time to cut bait with more distressed assets and pay for them to leave.
Aaron Hicks was the start of that, but he wasn't necessarily the entire problem. The Yankees played a very big role in his struggles. But that $30 million sacrifice was clearly tough for Steinbrenner and Co. to swallow.
So they might be dry heaving over the toilet thinking about Giancarlo Stanton's remaining $88 million and DJ LeMahieu's remaining $45 million. But one of them needs to go (Stanton, definitely) if this team wants to improve its flexibility and athleticism. Stanton can't hit. He can't run. He can't play defense.
But if that's too much for the Yankees to handle, trading LeMahieu and eating around ~$20 million of his remaining $45 should be on the table. LeMahieu's defensive versatility is an advantage, but his inconsistent offense, loss of power and nonexistent speed play roles in hampering the Yankees' offense. Though giving some underwhelming younger options a chance over DJLM isn't exactly enticing, it at least improves the team's athleticism and helps them project their future.
Stanton and LeMahieu have held the Yankees back in some capacity for some time now (Stanton on and off since 2019 and LeMahieu since 2021). Time to move on and find any marginal upgrade.