When the lockout finally ends, whenever that may be, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman will have several holes to address on the roster.
And one position of focus will be first base since last season’s deadline acquisition, Anthony Rizzo, is now a free agent. But despite Rizzo’s willingness to return to the Yankees, the team has been linked to a bigger name option that could potentially replace him.
Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson is on the trading block and the Yankees have previously shown interest in acquiring him. The A’s are a team that is expected to cut costs and Olson is set to make $12 million next season before becoming a free agent following the 2023 campaign.
On January 18, Jim Bowden of The Athletic floated a possible trade scenario that could see the Yankees land Olson. In this proposal, the Yankees offer their No. 3 prospect in shortstop Oswald Peraza, promising young pitcher Luis Gil (No. 4 ranked prospect), and maybe throw in right-hander Randy Vazquez (No. 20 ranked prospect) and/or righty Beck Way (No. 22 ranked prospect).
ANOTHER TRADE PROPOSAL: Yankees Send Three Players to Oakland For Matt Olson
The Yankees would essentially be giving up 3-4 of their top 22 prospects in order to acquire Olson’s services, which isn’t a cheap price by any means. While the presence of fellow top prospect shortstop Anthony Volpe would make it easier for the Yankees to part with Peraza, the organization would be hurting their already thin pitching depth by sending multiple arms to Oakland. And letting go of Gil would be difficult, considering how impressive he was in his first six big-league starts in 2021, producing a 3.07 ERA, 141 ERA+ and 11.7 K/9 across 29.1 innings.
But by striking a deal for Olson’s impact bat, Cashman and the Yankees will be able to justify adding a stopgap player to man the shortstop position until Volpe is ready for the majors. New York is in need of a shakeup after coming up short in the playoffs over the course of the last five seasons, and Olson could help transform their lineup into an offensive juggernaut.
Olson’s left-handed power bat is the perfect fit for the short porch in Yankee Stadium. This move would also help provide balance to a right-handed heavy lineup by inserting Olson in the middle of the order.
Olson, 27, made the All-Star team for the first time in his career a season ago, and slashed .271/.371/.540/.911 with a 5.8 bWAR, 39 home runs and 111 RBIs across 156 games with the A’s. Olson is the type of impact position player that the Yankees need to add this offseason in order to upgrade their roster. Not to mention, he is under cheap control for the next two seasons and has two Gold Gloves under his belt as well.
Although it will cost a number of talented assets to acquire Olson, It’s a scenario that could see both the Yankees and A’s come out as winners in the end.
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