The New York Yankees are in a bad situation this offseason. They need a bunch of help improving the team to get to another World Championship after suffering huge losses last season, while not knowing if they will have revenue in 2021. They also want to stay below the luxury tax threshold. So it appears they have a bunch to do and little money to do it with.
The Yankees in the last few seasons have been reluctant to trade away any of their players, but with the needs this year, they will likely spend some money and get creative with trades to get some of the pieces they need. The Yankees have already made it clear that they are shopping Gary Sanchez, who might be an upgrade for some teams but has pretty much failed for the Yankees the last few seasons. Unfortunately, is trade value is at an all-time low. Another obvious trade piece is Miguel Andujar, who could draw more value. Andujar could be star with another team; the Yankees don’t have any meaningful way to use him since the Gold Glove-like Gio Urshela replaced him.
Other less likely trade pieces include Luke Voit this past season home run leader for all of baseball, and still less likely is Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, but they will really need to get something big in return for those future Yankees stars. One interesting trade that is surely not out of the trade discussions is trading off closer Aroldis Chapman and letting Zack Britton take the closer role. Britton, in Chapman’s absence, got eight saves in a row for the Yankees. The Yankees have traded Chapman once before.
A Chapman trade might be more logical than then many would think. There are sure to be teams out there that would love to get the fireballer. He makes more money than Britton, even though Britton is the better pitcher. To put it into perspective Chapman is on a three-year deal worth $48 million, Britton is on a two-year deal that will keep him as a Yankee until the end of the 2022 season at $27 million. Chapman has a career 2.25 ERA but has blown the postseason two years in a row. Britton conversely was 1.81 without a blown save in 2020 and had an ERA of under 2.00 in five of his seven seasons. Taking a hard look at that, Mariano Rivera had a career 2.06 ERA, albeit for a much longer span.
If the New York Yankees can find a way to re-sign the award-winning DJ LeMahieu, that would make the Voit trade possibility much more likely, as the Yankees will try to find a way to move Gleyber Torres back to his natural position at second base. That would put LeMahieu at first base, making Voit expendable.
With the New York Yankees low on cash and with little willingness to go beyond the luxury tax threshold of $210 million, general manager Brian Cashman will have to get very creative and may use some of these trades and also trade off some prospects to make the deals he may be faced with. One thing is for sure; it is not beyond the possibilities that the Yankees may look very different next year.