A week from today, the winter meetings will have concluded and I’m expecting that the Yankees will have made some moves. The offseason has gotten off to a slow start for the most part with only a few key moves being made by teams across baseball.
This week we saw former AL MVP Jose Abreu sign with the Astros. The Yankees re-signed Anthony Rizzo to a two-year deal and before free agency even started, the Mets re-signed Edwin Diaz to a massive deal. However, none of those guys are the big domino.
The big domino is AL MVP Aaron Judge. Judge has been priority number one for the Yankees since the season ended and that’s included having multiple conversations with owner Hal Steinbrenner. That being said, the meeting with Steinbrenner and the latest Yankee offer didn’t stop Judge from shopping around.
Judge was in San Francisco last week for a two-day meeting with the Giants. He’s expected to have conversations with the Dodgers as well. All that being said, with a limited market of three teams maximum, the expectation is that he will sign during the winter meetings next week.
Yankees Big Week
Let’s say the Yankees are able to sign Aaron Judge next week to an extension. That would mean that they have their biggest target taken care of and they can spend the rest of the time during the meetings focusing on other areas of need for the team.
Perhaps looking to add another starting pitcher and bulstering the bullpen. Maybe trade conversations can happen and maybe a trade can even go down. They have been fielding calls on Gleyber Torres, although some aren’t convinced they would move him without Anthony Volpe being MLB ready.
If the Yankees’ worst fear is realized and Judge bolts for the west coast, then it’s time to pivot. Perhaps the pivot is the shortstop market where they could visit Carlos Correa or Trea Turner. They could even look at taking away Xander Bogaerts from the Boston Red Sox.
It goes without saying that the winter meetings are going to be big for the Yankees. At a bare minimum, we should know where Aaron Judge is playing. So at a minimum, the Yankees will have Judge and can attack their roster in other areas or they know they won’t have Judge and perhaps a different splash is waiting in the wings.