Hitting coach Dillon Lawson to program Yankees to be “monster hitters”

The New York Yankees had one of their worst hitting seasons in years, last season, with two results. The Yankees ended up in the middle of the pack in hitting in a season that got them to the wild card game and a loss to the Boston Red Sox, ending their season. The other result was hitting coach Marcus Thames losing his job after a horrible season for all Yankee players with the exception of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. The two are the only reason the Yankees got to the doorstep of the postseason.

Thames was the Yankee hitting coach from 2018 to this past season after being an assistant and hitting coach in the Yankees minor league system. He had a ten-year major league career, starting with the Yankees in 2002. He also played for the Rangers, Tigers, and finally, the Los Angeles Dodger in 2011. His best year as a hitter was in 2010 in his second stint with the Yankees when hit .288 with a dozen home runs. In his career, he was never an All-Star with a career batting average of just .246.

During 2013 he was hired as the hitting coach of the advanced A Tampa team. He was promoted to the Trenton Thunder and named the assistant hitting coach of the Yankees in 2016, becoming the hitting coach in 2019. During his time as the hitting coach, the Yankees played well but were never able to get over the hump and into the postseason. After last season’s poor hitting with a powerful lineup, the Yankees did not renew his contract in favor of hiring Dillon Lawson.

Lawson has become the Yankees hitting coach this off-season after being its’ hitting coordinator in 2019. Lawson attended Transylvania University, where he played college ball as a catcher and first baseman. When he graduated, he became a coach at Lindenwood University. He also coached at Morehead State University, Southeast Missouri, the Tri-City Valley Cats, and finally at the University of Missouri for the Quad Cities River Bandits before becoming a Yankee.

Lawson brings to the Yankees a “hit-it-hard” philosophy. His philosophy is pretty simple “swing at strikes and hit them hard.” He wants to convert the Yankee players to being hitting monsters. Wednesday, he explained:

“When we swing at strikes, we’re likely to make more contact. When we make more contact, we’re likely to hit the ball harder. When we make hard contact, we would like to hit it over the infield. Sometimes we would like to hit it over the outfield fence. All of that works.”

“It’s definitely something we’ll focus on. Whether it was an issue last year or not, it would still be a focus of ours because we think it’s just going to lead to more success and, again, when you have guys that can hit the ball the way that we do, getting it over the infield is going to allow for better results.”

“As a hitting coach, we’ve got monsters all up and down the lineup. I’m extremely excited. It’s amazing to be able to work with these guys. In reality, we’re trying to keep their strengths their strengths, and then any areas where we can improve by even just 1%, that’s going to make a big difference when we get onto the field, considering the outstanding roster we already have.”

“There’s plenty of things to be excited and optimistic about,” Lawson said. “We have an outstanding roster. As a hitting coach, we’ve got monsters all up and down the lineup. It’s amazing to be able to work with these guys. In reality, we’re trying to keep their strengths, and then any areas where we can improve — even just about 1% — that’s going to make a big difference.”

In addition to Lawson, the Yankees hired Casey Dykes as assistant hitting coach. They also hired Eric Chavez, but Chavez left to become the hitting coach of the crosstown New York Mets. Although the Yankees are not required to have more than one assistant coach, they likely will continue to look for a replacement for Chavez before the start of Spring Training.

Yankees’ new hitting coach drops 3 words to detail awesome new approach

yankees, giancarlo stanton

The New York Yankees usually feature one of the best offenses in baseball, but during the 2021 season, they witnessed several inconsistencies that severely damaged their efficiency.

With analytics taking such a tremendous hold on baseball, the Yankees have all but forgotten the batting average, focusing on home runs instead of contact hitting. Interestingly, the Houston Astros ranked first with a .267 average among their batters, reaching the postseason as a result.

As for home runs, the Yankees ranked 6th with 222 but missed the postseason nonetheless. Of course, factors like depth and pitching play significant roles in success, but the Bombers aren’t planning to change their philosophy on hitting anytime soon.

Recently, management promoted Dillon Lawson to their hitting coach spot from the minor leagues. Lawson has had tremendous success developing young talent and conforming them to the Yankees style of play.

His mantra heading into major-league baseball a simple, “hit strikes hard.”

As long as the Yankee batters are hitting strikes hard, they don’t necessarily care about swinging and missing. However, having a good eye is essential for producing home runs, which is what management is looking for.

“We chose that because we feel that it’s accurate to what really good baseball players do, but that it’s also very easy for players to remember,” Lawson said on Wednesday. “If you peel that back just one layer, it’s not that complicated. When we swing, we want to swing at strikes.

“When we swing at strikes, we’re likely to make more contact. When we make more contact, we’re likely to hit the ball harder. When we make hard contact, we would like to hit it over the infield. Sometimes we would like to hit it over the outfield fence. All of that works.”

Lawson served as the Yankees’ minor-league hitting coordinator for the past three seasons, and with general manager Brian Cashman expected to be aggressive when the lockout ends, he might get a few new shiny toys to play with this upcoming season.

The Yankees have been connected to a myriad of different sluggers, including Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Carlos Correa, and even Matt Chapman in a prospective deal with the Oakland Athletics.

Cashman only has so much money to spend, though, especially with Aaron Judge’s massive contract coming up in the near future. Lawson is replacing Marcus Thames, whose contract expired in October.

The front office originally brought in Eric Chavez to lead the hitting department, but he eventually got out of Dodge and took the 7 train over to Queens, joining the Mets and their newly situated coaching staff.

Nonetheless, the Yankees have all the faith in the world in Lawson, who has grown from within.

Yankees News: Yankee long time adversary “Big Papi” elected to the MLB Hall of Fame

The New York Yankees had no players on the 2022 ballot elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only player voted upon to be inducted this year was the famed Red Sox star, David Ortiz, otherwise known as “Big Papi.” The Yankees had several on the ballot, but none achieved the necessary 75% of the vote required for induction. Here are the results of the Baseball Writers Association vote:

David Ortiz: 307 votes, 77.9%

Barry Bonds: 260 votes, 66% (final year on ballot)

Roger Clemens: 257 votes, 65.2% (final year on ballot)

Scott Rolen: 249 votes, 63.2%

Curt Schilling: 231 votes, 58.6% (final year on ballot)

Todd Helton: 205 votes, 52.0%

Billy Wagner: 201 votes, 51.0%

Andruw Jones: 163 votes, 41.1%

Gary Sheffield: 160 votes, 40.6%

Alex Rodriguez: 135 votes, 34.3%

Jeff Kent: 129 votes, 32.7%

Manny Ramirez: 114 votes, 28.9%

Omar Vizquel: 94 votes, 23.9%

Sammy Sosa: 73 votes, 18.5% (final year on ballot)

Andy Pettitte: 42 votes, 10.7%

Jimmy Rollins: 37 votes, 9.4%

Bobby Abreu: 34 votes, 8.6%

Mark Buehrle: 23 votes, 5.8%

Torii Hunter: 21 votes, 5.3%

Players that received less than 5% of the vote were automatically dropped from the list for future voting. There were no Yankees players that fell within that category. Many of the above players will become eligible again under the Golden Days and Early Baseball Era committees in the years ahead. Back in December, that vote was held, and Yankee pitcher Jim Kaat was inducted along with five other players from other teams, making a total of seven players to be honored during the ceremony in Cooperstown, New York on July 24, 2022.

For many seasons, David Ortiz, the long-time designated hitter for the Red Sox, was a Yankee pain in the butt for the Yankees. After a successful six-year stint with the Minnesota Twins, he served on the Red Sox for 14 years. He retired after the 2016 season with a .290 batting average, a .956 OPS, and 483 home runs for the Red Sox. This was the first year of eligibility for his induction, and he succeeded with 77.9 of the vote. During his time with the Red Sox, he was a Yankee killer with his home runs. He helped the Sox to three World Series while being a ten-time All-Star and an eight-time MVP nominee as well as a seven-time Silver Slugger.

David Ortiz came into his own with the Red Sox and turned into one of the greatest designated hitters and most clutch postseason performers in major league history after being released by the Twins. He was elected to the Class of 2022 on Tuesday. Ortiz received votes from 307 of the 394 voting members of the Baseball Writers of America. Meanwhile, The Yankees, Roger Clemens, and the Giants, Barry Bonds, along with Sammy Sosa and Curt Shilling, failed the vote in their final year of eligibility.

“I’m always going to thank the Minnesota Twins because the one thing I learned in that organization was that opportunity is not out there every day,” Ortiz said coyly about his six years with the Twins, only two of which found him in the lineup for more than 100 games. “Once you get it, hold on to it because once you let go, it’ll probably never come back to you.”

As I said earlier, Roger Clements failed in his last year of eligibility. He, along with the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, has been unable to reach Hall of Fame status as at least 25% of voters have kept them from receiving the votes needed due to their performance-enhancing drug usage. Another Yankee, Andy Pettitte, also tainted by his short-term drug usage, only received less than 11% of the vote. Other ex-Yankees on the list, Andruw Jones, received 41.1% of the vote, and Gary Sheffield received 40.6%.

Yankees could get blind-sided by Braves in blockbuster deal with Athletics

yankees, matt olson

The New York Yankees have been connected to the Oakland Athletics on multiple occasions this off-season, despite the lockout raging on. However, other teams have also been linked to Oakland in prospective deals. The latest connection is between the Atlanta Braves and Athletics, which is a curious scenario, especially since Matt Olson, star first baseman, was the centerpiece.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Atlanta Braves were in talks with the Oakland Athletics to trade for Matt Olson:

For the Braves, the pre-emptive strike would be a trade for Athletics first baseman Matt Olson, a move that, according to sources, they discussed with the A’s before the start of the lockout. The conversations cannot be dismissed as mere due diligence. Once the free-agent market opened, the Braves faced the possible loss of Freeman, 32, at any moment.

With Olson the primary target for Atlanta, it suggests they’re preparing to let Freddie Freeman walk in free agency as he projects to land a deal worth six years, $187 million. If that’s truly the case, the Yankees have their work cut out for them.

Replacing Freeman with Olson undoubtedly comes with a drop-off in production, but the Oakland star was incredibly efficient last season at the plate, enjoying a .271 batting average with a career-low 16.8% strikeout rate. Lowering his strikeout rate from 31.4% was a significant deal, paired with 39 homers and 111 RBIs, the lefty batter would be a perfect fit in Yankee stadium.

Realistically, Olson could hit 40+ homers with the Yankees, but Freeman also offers that same potential. General manager Brian Cashman hasn’t been aggressive with spending at first base, trying to supplement the position in the past with a Luke Voit, a cheaper solution.

Nonetheless, it is not every day you have players like Olson and Freeman available on the market. Freeman is coming off a season where he hit .300 with 31 homers and 83 RBIs with a 15.4% strikeout rate. At 32 years old, though, Freeman’s deal may be a bit overzealous.

Considering Olson is set to earn just $12 million next season with an additional year of arbitration in 2023. Based on his upward trajectory and minimal cost compared to Freeman, he’s likely the more efficient target. On the flip side, the Yankee may be unwilling to part ways with minor league talent when they can just as easily spend money to decrypt an unsolved first base spot.

Yankees Analysis: Could Luis Severino be the key to a successful trip to the World Series?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees and its fans have been starved of a World Series appearance for twelve years, and fans want that to change…now.

Regardless of the fan’s wishes, the upcoming season looks as foggy as a bad San Francisco morning.

The Yankees, with just a few weeks until the start of spring training, are still looking for a shortstop, a bonafide second starting pitcher, a first baseman, and help in center field.

With the MLB lockout, the Yankees have been unable to advance on filling any of those wants. With the players and owner talking and making counter proposals and meeting for a third time this afternoon, it may signal that the sides are getting closer to finally getting a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the books. If that happens, the Yankees will have to be aggressive and swift in securing the help they need.

With all eyes on what the Yankees will do to replace Gleyber Torres at short, today we focus on starting pitching. Much of what the Yankees will do to secure a shortstop will affect their ability to sign a true number-two starter, the kind that will take them to the postseason and a possible World Series gig.

If they go the route of signing a Carlos Correa-type shortstop, it will take dollars and have a significant impact financially on if they will be able to spend on a starting pitcher. They also have to consider a contract extension for Aaron Judge. Even if they don’t spend on a pitcher, on paper, it looks as though they already have the talent for a successful season if those pitchers perform at the top of their game. That brings up the subject of Luis Severino and if he can return to form.

Severino was the Yankees’ ace during 2017-2018, when he won 33 games against 14 losses. He also started the 2019 season with a bang. In three games, he had a 1.50 ERA. That was pretty much the end for Severino as he underwent Tommy John surgery, keeping him off the mound until late in the 2021 season. How the Yankees do, this season will be greatly tied to how Severino performs.

Whether the Yankees hire a number two pitcher or not, they will need Severino to have a successful season. Looking at his history, he seems to be injury-prone, so the Yankees, pitching coach Matt Blake, and the conditioning staff headed by Eric Cressey will monitor “Sevy” very closely to protect him against those injuries that he can be impactful during the 2022 season.

If Severino can stay healthy and pitch most if not all of the 2022 season and can return to form, the Yankees will likely make the postseason and an even a much-awaited Fall Classic. If playing at the top of his game, he could be an ace for any MLB team. If he can perform as the Yankees hope, he will provide that one-two punch behind ace Gerrit Cole. If the injury Gods don’t intervene, we could see a Yankee World Series win, the first since 2009.

The Yankees do need insurance regardless of Severino by signing at least a middle-of-the-rotation pack starting pitcher. There are several decent free-agent pitchers on the market to be traded for. Of course, the Yankees will have to hit far better than they did last season outside of the pitching. They have fired Marcus Thames and hired Dillon Lawson to help make that happen. This could be the Yankees’ most exciting season in years, and Luis Severino could be a major part of that excitement.

3 players the Yankees could trade for to solve shortstop woes

matt chapman, yankees, athletics

By the day, it seems as if the Yankees will settle for a stopgap solution at shortstop instead of spending big money on a player like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story.

Story could fit the bill on a shorter deal if general manager Brian Cashman is willing to spend the money on him, but several other avenues offer a lower AAV until Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

Three shortstops the Yankees could trade for:

1.) Matt Chapman

In a prospective deal, the Yankees were recently connected to Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman is traditionally a third baseman but could make the transition to shortstop until his contract expires in 2024. He’s set to earn just $9.5 million this upcoming season and will hit arbitration in 2023 for the third time.

Chapman actually fits the bill quite nicely for the Bombers, having hit double-digit homers every season of his career, including 27 this past year, posting a .210 batting average. The Yankees have ignored BA in the past, and that trend is likely to go unchanged. With short porches in Yankee stadium, Chapman offers Gold Glove material and solid power, making him an intriguing prospect.

2.) Elvis Andrus

If a deal for Chapman didn’t work out between the Athletics and Yankees, Elvis Andrus might prick the ears of Cashman. Andrus is preparing to earn $15 million this upcoming season as he hits toward the end of an eight-year, $120 million deal. Andrus also has a 2023 vesting option, so the Yankees would have to deal with the remainder of his contract, which will expire in two years anyway, a good stopgap solution.

Oakland is trying to get as much money off the books as possible, and with Andrus hitting. 243 last season, he’s not exactly reaching the potential they expected. In addition, he’s only hit six homers over the past two seasons.

Based on Elvis‘s statistics, the Yankees likely wouldn’t be interested in his services, especially at his price point. However, he is a solid contact hitter with athleticism, stealing 31 bases in 2019 and 12 this past year over 146 games. Father time is undoubtedly taking its toll at 33 years old, but he is still a plus defender who they can rely on every day.

3.) Nick Ahmed

Another name that has bubbled to the surface in recent days is Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Considering Arizona lost 110 games this past season, it seems as if they will be sellers this off-season when the lockout ends.

Ahmed is an interesting player, preparing to start the second half of a four-year, $32.5 million deal he signed in 2020. Ahmed is preparing to earn $7.75 million in base salary this upcoming season.

The Diamondbacks shortstop posted a .221 average with five homers and 38 RBIs this past year over 129 games. He settles somewhere in the middle between Chapman and Andrus as a batter, showcasing power in the past with 19 homers in 2019, but struggling in that category the past two years.

Ahmed is a plus defender as well but struggles in the batter’s box, something the Yankee simply can’t sustain if they really want to upgrade the shortstop position.

Statistically, Chapman seems to be a more productive target if the Yankees are looking for a true stopgap until one of their young players is ready to take over.

Yankees official 2022 International signings include elite prospect

roderick arias, yankees

The New York Yankees have been silent during the lockout for apparent reasons, but they’ve been active in the international market, scouring for talent. Subsequently, they landed one of the best players in this year’s international class, Roderick Arias.

Arias is a potential elite talent, featuring a plus arm and switch-hitting bat.

MLB.com raved about Arias, who brings more shortstop talent to the Yankees’ farm system:

The top international prospect in the class, Arias is an extraordinary talent and the consensus No. 1.

There’s a lot to like about the teenager. Starting on the defensive side of the ball, Arias has plus arm potential. His throws are accurate and effortless, and he’s always in a position to make the throws. His arm is strong from any angle. He also shows good footwork with soft hands and above-average range.

At the plate, he exhibits above-average bat-to-ball skills and strike zone awareness. He shows good plate discipline and doesn’t swing and miss often. He shows power from both sides of the plate, especially by the right side. There’s good opposite-field power from the left side, and the overall package that could develop into a plus-plus hitter.

Full list of Yankees’ International signings:

Roderick Arias, SS, Dominican Republic, $4M

Engelth Urena, C, Dominican Republic, $275K

Louis Pierre, CF, Haiti, $150K

Omar Gonzalez, RHS, Panama, $135K

Christian Zazueta, RHS, Mexico — $110K

The Bombers also inked Engelth Urena, Louis Pierre, Omar Gonzalez, and Christian Zazueta to deals. Clearly, management felt that spending most of their international money on Arias was a good move, and his bat would wholeheartedly agree.

At 17 years old, Arias has all five tools necessary to become an elite player at the MLB level. Luckily, the Yankees have 4-5 years to develop his game and prepare him for the big leagues. At his size, though, he could elevate through the farm system incredibly fast in the coming years.

New York Yankees Twists and Turns: Will Cashman go for defense or offense in shortstop selection?

The New York Yankees haven’t made any progress with their next shortstop due to the lockout. It all started when the Yankees admitted that their experiment with Gleyber Torres had failed at short and permanently moved him to second base at the end of the season. That move left the Yankees with several players at the position for the remainder of the season and no clear shortstop for 2022.

General Manager Brian Cashman made it clear even before the end of the World Series that his top priority was to get a star-like shortstop to fill the position. But before the ink had dried on that thought, they wavered and said they might look to the stopgap avenue waiting for prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to assume the position.

Meanwhile, a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the players came and went when a new CBA couldn’t be agreed upon by the December 1 deadline. That caused the Yankees to be left out in the dark as other teams made significant moves to improve their teams before MLB instituted a lockdown, forbidding any major league transactions.

The Yankees basically sat back and watched the action while doing nothing to fill the holes in the team. They saw Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, two prime shortstops go to the Texas Rangers. They also saw starting pitcher Robbie Ray go to the Seattle Mariners, Kevin Gausman go to Toronto Blue Jays, and Eduardo Rodriguez go to the Detroit Tigers. Another priority for the Yankees is to land a No. 2 starting pitcher behind ace Gerrit Cole.

Now the Yankees are left to select from a reduced pool of players to fill their needs. They won’t be able to start that process until a new CBA can be reached. That process has seen only one meeting since the deadline. Today the owner and players will have their first face-to-face meeting with the players presenting their counter-proposal after rejecting the owner’s proposal.

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman still has not shown his hand on whether he will continue to go the route of a star player to fill the shortstop position or go with a lesser player on a short contract. Here is a look at those players still available to the Yankees.

Carlos Correa:

If the Yankees still want to make a splash by hiring free-agent star shortstop Carlos Correa they will have to deal with Correa and high profile agent Scott Boris who will be looking for a huge contract mirroring that given to Corey Seager by the Rangers. He got $325 million over ten years. That will be more than the Yankee’s want on the books, and an Aaron Judge extension looming. Being the youngest shortstop on the market (27), Correa will give Boris even more bargaining power. It would be a big surprise if the Yankees go this route.

Trevor Story:

Free-agent Trevor Story, age 29, is a former Colorado Rockie and is the second-best shortstop still on the market. Story has been of interest to the Yankees before when they tried to trade for him before the trade deadline this past season. The Rockies and Yankees couldn’t agree then and likely won’t now. Brian Hock of MLB.com has said the Yankees have since soured on Story and likely won’t pursue him now. Story, a five-tool player would be a significant upgrade for the Yankees and not as costly as Correa.

Andrelton Simmons:

Next in line is Andrelton Simmons, one of the best defensive shortstops of the last several years. But there is a big problem here, he is old (32). Add to that, he is coming off a dismal season with a slash line of .223/.283/.274, something that can’t be attractive to the Yankees regardless of his glove prowess. Only a short contract at a low price could entice the Yankees to move on Simmons.

Other options:

If you discount those three shortstops, there isn’t much left for the Yankees. Some say they will do nothing and move Gio Urshela to short, where he was serviceable for 28 games last season. Other analysts see the Yankees going the short gap avenue trading for players like Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Harold Castro of the Tigers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the Rangers, Kevin Newman of the Pirates, or Willie Adames of the Brewers. Besides those players, there are a host of low-cost players that Cashman could get creative with.

One thing is for sure when the owners and players can come to an agreement, the Yankees are going to have to pounce quickly with spring training less than a month away so that they can concentrate on their several other needs.

 

Yankees could target surprise shortstop from the Diamondbacks as stopgap

nick ahmed, yankees

One way or another, the New York Yankees need to solve their shortstop position this off-season. With the lockout still underway, there’s no telling when teams will be able to negotiate with players, but when things open back up, it will be a frenzy to land the remaining talents on the market.

Of course, names like Carlos Correa and Trevor Story will still be connected to the Bombers, but management could take a more cost-efficient approach via trade.

The Oakland Athletics have been heavily connected to the Yankees regarding several prospective trades, including Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. However, Arizona Diamondbacks SS Nick Ahmed has also bubbled to the surface in recent days after a down season in 2021.

The Yankees might be smart to reach out to Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen to inquire about Ahmed, who is preparing to turn 32 years old after playing 129 games this past season. Ahmed is currently on a four-year, $32.5 million contract and is owed $7.75 million for the 2022 season.

Considering the Diamondbacks lost 110 games this past year, they are expected to be sellers this off-season, and Ahmed is undoubtedly a potential candidate for departure. In 2021, Ahmed hit .221 with five homers and 38 RBIs. However, during the 2019 season, he hit .254 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs, including an 18.1% strikeout rate. Defensively, Ahmed is an above-average player who can offer solid efficiency on an everyday basis.

Considering the Yankees will likely be looking for a short-term solution so they can elevate Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe in the future, Ahmed could fit the bill with his contract expiring in 2024 after earning $10 million in 2023.

Realistically, the Yankees probably have better offensive options they can explore compared to Ahmed for a similar timeframe, but if the Diamondbacks are planning to be sellers, they could likely scoop him up for a fraction of what others are commanding for quality players.

Yankees Rumors: Reacting to blockbuster trade with Athletics including star 1B Matt Olson

yankees, matt olson

The New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics have been heavily connected regarding a potential blockbuster deal this off-season. The Yankees have been interested in star first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman, who would transfer to the shortstop spot if acquired.

However, another player has entered the mix, mid-rotation pitcher Frankie Montas, coming off a 3.37 ERA season over 187 innings pitched.

CBS Sports believes a blockbuster deal could be in the future for the Yankees and Athletics, including Matt Olson and Frankie Montas:

We’ve seen the A’s trade star players before (Josh Donaldson, Tim Hudson, etc.) and every single time they’ve traded them for cheap players and prospects. They don’t take back money, meaning guys like Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit are unappealing with their $5-plus million arbitration salaries. Prospects and pre-arbitration players are the way to go. Start the offer with infielder Oswald Peraza, righty Luis Gil, and catcher/first baseman Austin Wells, and see what it takes to bridge the gap.

Montas is an intriguing prospect at 28 years old, but 2021 was the first season he pitched over 100 innings. He featured a career-high 4.1 WAR, 3.64 xFIP, and 3.79 SIERA.

The Athletics have control over Montas until 2024, so the Yankees would land themselves a reliable starter with great velocity. Montas currently utilizes a fastball, slider, and split-fingered fastball. He averages out at 96.3 mph, a great number that would undoubtedly entice the Yankees.

On the other hand, Olson is a phenomenal batter, recording a .271 average with 39 homers and 111 RBIs last year. His 16.8% strikeout rate would also be a welcomed statistic for the Bombers, who could use a bit more contact hitting.

Obviously, it will take a serious haul to acquire both players, and CBS includes Oswald Peraza, Luis Gil, and catcher Austin Wells in the deal on the Yankees’ side.

All three prospects have low salary cap hits, given their minor-league contracts. Peraza is expendable given the plethora of minor-league talent the Yankees have at shortstop, but losing Gil would be a brutal hit. Wells is a phenomenal athlete at the catcher position, but arm strength concerns have floated the idea of him taking outfield reps as well.

Nonetheless, if the Yankees were to acquire Montas and Olson, they would be in a great spot to push for the playoffs next season.