Itâ€™s not a secret that the New York Yankees havenâ€™t had the offseason many fans hoped for. While many clubs in the American League make win-now moves, the Bombers are showing a baffling inactivity that could be detrimental.
With so many moves and signings in the past few days, the player pool available for the Yankees is now significantly diminished. Players such as Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Jon Gray, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Starling Marte are no off-limits.
However, there are still some stars that could improve the Yankees roster if they choose to pursue them. Shortstops Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are a couple of prime examples, with super-utility Chris Taylor and third baseman Kris Bryant also available.
Freddie Freeman, perhaps the best hitter in the market, is generating interest in the Yankeesâ€™ front office. Naturally, he is a former MVP winner (in 2020) who lifted his first World Series trophy this year with the Atlanta Braves.
Could the Yankees steal him from the Braves?
MLB Networkâ€™s Jon Heyman wrote in the past few hours that Freeman is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of $180 million across six years, for an average annual value of $30 million per season.
Thatâ€™s the exact amount MLB Trade Rumors had forecasted for Freeman, so itâ€™s not an outrageous request by such a talented hitter and a clubhouse favorite in Atlanta.
Yes, Freeman is currently 32, which would be risky for the Yankees, but he remains a top hitter, slashing .300/.393/.503 with 31 homers, 120 runs scored, 83 RBI, and a 135 wRC+ in the 2021 campaign. In the absence of injured star Ronald Acuna Jr., Freeman led the Braves to their first World Series title since 1995.
The expectation around the baseball universe is that Freeman eventually re-signs with Atlanta. However, if thatâ€™s not the case, the Yankees (and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox) are ready to pounce.