The New York Yankees and the other 29 teams are still suffering through a lockout that is now 95 days long, with no apparent quick resolution in the offing. MLB canceled more spring training games last week due to not reaching an agreement. Spring training games will not start until March 5 at the earliest. It is evident at this point they will not reach that goal. This week MLB announced that the first two series of the new regular season are canceled.
The big news; No Yankee baseball
After over 100 days of negotiations, the owners and players have installed the universal DH, but not much else. The main issues in a new agreement are as far away as before the negotiations even started. If it isn’t bad enough, the players and owners can’t come to a resolution. We have recently learned that the owners can’t agree on some issues.
On a Zoom call, four owners reportedly voted against the league’s “best and final” offer that the MLBPA turned down before the league’s self-imposed deadline on Tuesday. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich later revealed that those teams were the Angels, Reds, Tigers, and D-backs.
So while the Yankees should be playing spring training games, they are instead working out at local high school fields, as the lockout prevents them from entering minor league fields until a new agreement can be reached. Although no one knows when the new regular season will start, it won’t likely be in April. On his part, Commissioner Rob Manfred has announced that all canceled games will not be made up, putting the entire season in jeopardy.
It’s that time of year, will Brett Gardner return yet again?
Brett Gardner is the longest-tenured Yankee, being the last Yankee to be retained from the 2009 World Series team. He has been with the Yankees since he was drafted in 2005, and 2022 would be his 15th major-league season. “Gardy” has been a mainstay with the Yankees, never being an MVP, but being an All-Star and Gold Glover, he has always been solid for the Yankees.
However, in recent years his star has dimmed, causing the Yankees to reevaluate bringing him back every year. Such is the situation again this season as the Yankees, while in a lockout, try to find ways to improve the team. Gardner has again made it clear that he wants to play another season, and he wants to play that as a Yankee. However, his agent has echoed the same but added that he, now in free agency, will look at returning to any team that values him as a player.
Pitcher Beck Way is working his way up the Yankee ladder
There has been much chatter about Yankees’ prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, mostly due to the team’s need for a new shortstop. There are other Yankee prospects to be examined; one of them is another story about an up-and-comer, earning some pretty hopeful reviews. Yankees pitching prospect Beck Way is described as having “electric” stuff. The Yankees are hoping that he can even improve further in 2022.
Way has been playing ball for some time but only started pitching full time in his last year of college. He showed flashes of excellence in college, with a fastball that often reached over 100mph. With Yankee coaches working with him this season, they hope he can learn more control and continue developing. Last season, the 22-year-old righty pitched for the Hudson Valley Renegades with a 3.98 ERA.
Trades have won seasons for the Yankees
The Yankees have won many pennants and World Series due to making smart trades before and during winning seasons. This season may end up the same, with their many needs. The Yankees say they are good just the way they are, but that won’t put forward a championship team that likely will fall short yet again.
So, what is general manager Cashman to do after only being an observer during the first half of the postseason? He will have to act fast with all teams looking to add help. Another thing is that after having months to figure out what he will do, he will likely have to look to trades to put forth a winning team.
When the lockout is lifted, the Yankees are going to need: a first baseman, a shortstop, a center field insurance piece, possibly a fifth outfielder, bullpen help, and a number 2 or 3 starting pitcher.
Here is a look at three trades the GM should closely consider: Matt Olson, Merril Kelly, and Ketel Marte. Some moves will only require money. The ones that trades could solve should not be overlooked. Brian Cashman should first get with Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees have been successful with the A’s before. Get a deal done for first baseman Matt Olson without giving up too many prospects.
With the Yankees’ decision to go big or take the stop-gap avenue at shortstop, that decision should be made quickly. At the moment, that looks to end up a short gap replacement. Get in touch with the Diamondbacks, and talk about Ketel Marte. Marte is a seven-year veteran that can adequately play center, second base, and be a more than average shortstop for the Yankees.
The Yankees could possibly put together a big trade that would include Marte and Merril Kelly, who could solve a starting rotation for the Yankees.