The New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians were among the most successful MLB franchises in the second half of the 2010s decade. Sure, they didn’t win a title, but they were constantly competing deep into the playoffs.
Last year, however, their offenses were far from productive. The Yankees finished 16th in fWAR, and Cleveland, now the Guardians and not the Indians, were 19th. In wRC+, the Yanks were ninth, but the Guardians were 19th.
It’s not a mere coincidence, therefore, that they are focusing their time and energy in bringing offensive assets to their lineups. And they could be targeting the same player, according to insider Paul Hoynes (link to NJ Advance Media article here).
Hoynes has covered the Guardians for a long time and has multiple sources there. In his latest piece for cleveland.com, he said the team may make a move for fellow Yankees’ target Matt Olson, who plays first base for the Oakland Athletics.
The Yankees aren’t the only team interested in Olson
The A’s aren’t expected to compete this season, and could be looking to shed some salary. Olson will be one of their highest-paid players.
“If the A’s are going to rebuild as has been speculated, Olson would certainly look good hitting in the middle of the Guards’ lineup. If a deal did take place, first baseman Bobby Bradley would probably be one of the players headed to the A’s along with a middle infielder and possibly a starting pitcher. Olson, with two years of control left, is eligible for arbitration. His salary is projected to be $12 million for 2022,” Hoynes wrote.
The Yankees have long been connected with Olson, but the Atlanta Braves also want him, especially if they can’t re-sign Freddie Freeman.
Olson made the All-Star Game in 2021, hit 39 home runs and drove in 111 runs. He is also a terrific defensive first baseman.
Who will win the Olson sweepstakes?