Itâ€™s not very often a player like Oakland Athletics star first baseman Matt Olson becomes available via trade two years before heâ€™s eligible to hit free agency. The New York Yankees have been speaking with Oakland about a potential deal, but reports have indicated that the Athletics are seeking a monstrous package in compensation for arguably their best player.
A’s said to be “shooting for the moon,” in early Matt Olson trade talks. Can’t blame em. 39 HR. .911 OPS. 5.8 WAR. 2 years ‘til free agency.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 20, 2021
Olson finished the 2021 season with a .271 average, 39 homers, and 111 RBIs. Olson has historically been an extremely healthy player, and coming off his best season with a career low 16.8% strikeout rate and 13.1% walk rate, he is one of the best first baseman in baseball, providing the Yankees an opportunity to upgrade a spot in flux for years.
There is still a good chance GM Brian Cashman extends Anthony Rizzo, retaining his lefty bat and providing the order with more diversity. The Yankees canâ€™t afford to inject another right-handed hitter into their lineup, especially with Brett Gardner on his way out and Aaron Hicks proving to be unreliable.
While Olson is a star offensive player, heâ€™s also a quality defender, winning a Gold Glove in 2019 and ranking 8th an MVP voting this past season. His lowest fielding percentage was back in 2019 with a .993, the season he won the GG. He allowed just six errors in 1,338.0 innings this past season, far better than the sample size Luke Voit contributed as a starter.
If the Athletics are truly aiming for the moon, they could be asking for one of the Yankees’ star young prospects, Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza. They could also be inquiring about Jasson Dominguez, a player that Cashman would be foolish to let go so early in his development. Given how talented Olson is, it is not surprising that Oakland is asking for such a hefty price tag, but the Yankees need to stick to their guns and not overspend when they have such exciting young talent waiting in the wings representing the future of the organization.