Predicting destinations for Yankees' 2023-24 free agents (and 1 they should bring back)

The New York Yankees have a robust free agent class this winter. Will they mess with any of them?

Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Welcome to Yankees Free Agency! Probably two or three months sooner than you wanted to arrive here, but hey, we welcome you nonetheless.

The Yankees have stretched their (fake, completely fake) budget to its furthest reaches this season, and because they opted out of moving anyone at the deadline, they'll pay the Steve Cohen Tax next season. Why did they do that? If there's anything the modern Yankees love, it's Budget. They betrayed their own line in the sand by not selling one measly little guy! Weird! What is this team's code of ethics and operations? Simply ... what?!

I digress. That means that next year, they'll pay a significant tax, but they will get a good deal of money off the books, too. Last winter was the Offseason of Aaron Judge. Either the Yankees would choose to pay him a massive sum, or they'd pass and watch their roster wilt (or he'd spurn them and become an arsonist). As far as offseason decisions go, it was a massive one.

This time? They're losing a lot of cash guaranteed, with several players who almost definitely will not re-sign hitting the open market. Of the Yankees' group of free agents, only two seem likely to return in any capacity (and maybe only one should).

In the interest of clearing cash, these are our best way-too-early predictions for these players' future landing spots, as well as some projected contracts before the market opens. It seems as if the Yankees will lose at least ~$45 million from their 2023 payroll before shuffling anything around. It's not, say, "shedding the entire Giancarlo Stanton/DJ LeMahieu contract" good, but it's still pretty impactful.