One way or another, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is going to need to find a solution at shortstop and first base.
What better way to solve both positions with one home run, courtesy of the Oakland Athletics. Recently, the Yankees were connected to third baseman Matt Chapman as a potential solution at shortstop on a short term basis.
Buster Olney of ESPN stated that the Yankees “have talked a little bit…internally” about potentially trading for Matt Chapman of the Oakland Athletics. However, they might be able to curate an even bigger deal, including first baseman Matt Olson in the deal.
Chapman is undoubtedly an intriguing option, but given his offensive regression the past few seasons, the Yankees would have to view him as a stopgap. Chapman has experience playing both shortstop and third base but primarily features at the hot corner.
He recorded a .210 batting average with 27 homers and 72 RBIs this past season. That is far below his 2019 stats when he hit .249 with 36 homers.
Defensively, Chapman is a stud, winning a Gold Glove this past season, his third in four years. He also has one All-Star appearance to his name and two top-10 MVP votes. He is currently heading into the final year of his contract before being eligible for arbitration in 2023. Chapman would we become a free agent in 2024, which could be ideal if the Yankees are looking to bring up Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.
However, to sweeten the deal, including Matt Olson could be an intriguing prospect.
Of course, Olson is one of the most exciting up-and-coming first basemen in the league, featuring phenomenal offensive prowess. This past season over 156 games, Olson hit .271 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs. He also featured a career-low 16.8% strikeout rate. As a lefty bat in Yankee Stadium, he could easily breach 40 homers per season, which is exactly what the Yankees are looking for.
The Bombers would have team control over Olson until 2024 as well at a phenomenal cost, but it would require them to offer a significant deal in exchange.
The Yankees would likely have to part ways with some of their best young talents in the farm system, notably one of their up-and-coming shortstops and top-rated pitcher Luis Medina. Realistically, this deal would be monstrous, but the Yankees trading in high upside prospects for established talent could be a good move given their World Series aspirations.