The New York Yankees are gearing up for a busy off-season once the lockout ends, especially after being connected in various trade scenarios with the Oakland Athletics.
Prior to the lockout, the Yankees were connected to star first baseman Matt Olson, who is coming off his best year as a professional. In 2021, Olson hit .271 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs. He posted a career-low 16.8% strikeout rate and 37.8 offensive WAR.
If the Yankees were really intrigued by his services in a prospective trade, there is no doubt Oakland would’ve asked for a major haul in return. Including multiple prospects and even starting-level talent at a price-efficient cost, the Yankees would’ve had to build a hefty package to acquire the lefty batter.
However, Andy Martino of SNY reported that the Yankees are “unwilling” to send either Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza to the Athletics in exchange for Olson.
The #Yankees expressed a “strong unwillingness” to trade prospects Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza in a possible Matt Olson trade w/ Oakland before the lockout, per @martinonyc ?? https://t.co/q9IcPyQKmE
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) February 1, 2022
Considering how many shortstop prospects the Yankees have in their farm system, being reluctant to send one of their top guns may end up biting them in the butt. Unless, of course, they envision one of the two changing positions to help establish the infield.
The expectation is that Volpe and Peraza are about one or two years away from making their MLB debut, but the team is looking long-term with their success and not giving up on young talent in exchange for proven commodities.
There is a legitimate strategy built-in to this thought process. Money is money, the Yankees can afford to spend whatever amount to acquire big names, but giving away young talent can have a reverberating consequence in the future.
With the inability to further develop Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and injuries to Luis Severino, the Yankees might’ve thought to part ways with prospects in exchange for proven players.
However, it is clear they’re incredibly high on Volpe and Peraza, who have both been dominating at the minor-league level.
This past year, Volpe hits .294 across two minor-league teams, recording 27 homers and 86 RBIs. Peraza, on the other hand, hit .297 with 18 homers and 58 RBIs, performing very well with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Triple-A ball.