Yankees GM Brian Cashman hints at position group he may use as trade-bait

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga
Sep 30, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (38) walks off of the field after the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are gearing up for an eventful off-season thanks to flexible funding. General manager Brian Cashman is expected to push past the luxury tax threshold, especially if they’re looking to add a big-name shortstop like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager.

However, the Bombers have also been considering trades with the Athletics for Matt Olson, Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds, and Reds’ Luis Castillo. The Yankees do have a few trade-pieces, per Cashman:

“We’re going to continue to reinforce, and we’ve got a lot of teams asking about our bullpen at the same time,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “It might be importing some. It eventually could be exporting others. Just a constant shifting of the sand so early in the winter.”

If Cashman wants to dip into the bullpen in a prospective deal, it will be painful, especially if the teams are calling on Jonathan Loaisiga.

Loaisiga had his best season in 2021, posting a 2.17 ERA over 70.2 innings. He recorded a career-high 60.9% ground-ball rate, which is exactly what the Yankees needed in Yankee Stadium. Cashman would hate to include him in a deal, but if it was for a big name that could bring ample value for the long-term, it could be worth it.

Alternatively, trying to part ways with Chad Green or Aroldis Chapman, who’s in the final year of his contract, might be more beneficial.

Green has had a tough past few seasons, despite earning a 3.12 ERA in 2021 over 80.3 innings. He recorded a career-low 27.3% ground ball rate and 1.51 home runs per nine. While his fastball is hovering around 96 mph, Green has completely stopped using his slider, change-up, and cutter. He primarily focuses on his fastball and curveball.

Chapman might be a good player to consider trading away at this point in his career, as he has one year left at $18 million. Another team is looking for a high-end closer, the Bombers can move on from his contract and move Loaisiga into the starters role. The team will also pay Zack Britton $14 million to rehab from injury, so they can already count him out of the bullpen.