The New York Yankees may now regret not being more active before the MLB lockout. Two new MLB rules will make a complex situation even more complicated. Those two rules are the Universal DH for the season 2022 and beyond. The other is the loss of removal of draft pick compensation.
This, of course, will make it more difficult for any team to sign free-agent first baseman Freddie Freeman, which goes for the World Series-winning Atlanta Braves as well. The Braves would dearly like to hold onto the backbone of both their defense and plate production. But, with Freeman already refusing the Braves’ $180 million offer, these new rules will likely raise his financial desires, making it more difficult for any team to sign him. Make no mistake, a team will sign him, but it might not be the Braves or the Yankees.
With the ongoing MLB lockout, teams across the country are more desperate than ever to fill the holes remaining in their lineups. With spring training scheduled to start this week in Florida and Arizona, it only makes the signings more critical, as they will have to fill those holes in record time. With the Yankees sitting on their hands during postseason one, the Yankees will have to act quickly and aggressively.
The Yankees have several holes to fill. The biggest is their shortstop position. It is most likely they will go with a stop-gap addition while they wait for Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to become major league-ready. They need some help in center field, as they cannot count on Aaron Hicks to remain healthy. They also would like a true number two starter to follow ace, Gerrit Cole. Freeman comes into focus due to their need for an everyday first baseman.
The Yankees have Luke Voit, who they held over from last season. But with his inability to keep the lower half of his body healthy, he should be their last choice. A trade with the Oakland Athletics’ Matt Olson isn’t all that desirable. The Yankees have already, before the lockout, talked to the A’s, who want at least Anthony Volpe and or Oswald Peraza. The Yankees have indicated that that is a non-starter. This is where Freeman comes into the mix.
He is either the best first baseman in the business or the best player overall in free agency. The problem for the Yankees with Freeman is the money he will ask to join the Yankees. Depending on how much owner Hal Steinbrenner wants to spend and how much they can save on other needs, will write the story on the Yankees acquiring Freeman.
These new rules certainly won’t help the Yankees in signing him. When and if a new CBA is reached, the Yankees will have to make that decision. However, even though other names for the everyday first baseman have not been mentioned, The one thing you should know is that you can never tell what general manager Brian Cashman will do to fill the spot. He may pull off a surprise, like the acquisition of a DJ LeMahieu-like surprise, that has turned out successful for the Yankees.