The Yankees have most-likely done their heavy-lifting of the 2017-18 offseason. Will they make another move? And if so, who could be targeted?
Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman have both publicly stated several times that the Yankees will not spend over the $197M Major League Baseball luxury tax in 2018.
What does this mean? It means that the Yankees currently have a budget of $16,005,400 left to spend this offseason according to Cot’s, should they elect to make another trade or sign a free agent. Keep in mind that it is wise to budget around $10M for in-season call-ups and trade acquisitions so that $16M quickly comes to around $6M left to spend.
What has been done:
Masahiro Tanaka decided to not opt-out of his seven-year $155M contract that will lock him in for $22M annually from 2018-19 and $23M in 2020 according to Cots Baseball.
The southpaw veteran CC Sabathia was brought back on a one year $10M contract.
Jace Peterson was signed to a minor league contract.
New York did make one selection in the form of former Cleveland Indians outfielder Junior Soto with the 20th pick of the first-round of the Minor League phase of the 2018 Rule V Draft.
What could be done:
Sign Todd Frazier.
It is my own personal philosophy that the Yankees should elect to go this route and sign the “Toddfather” to a three-year deal. Frazier ranks in the top five of defensive third basemen in all of MLB and provides an excellent clubhouse presence. The three-year contract will allow the Yankees to forgo spending big money on Manny Machado and could save that for either pitching next offseason, Nolan Arenado when he is a free agent in 2020 or both. Machado is an undeniable great talent. However, he can be lackadaisical and give up at-bats on a consistent basis. Hopefully, you can see why I and others can be wary of giving him a contract over $300M next offseason and prefer to wait for Arenado. By planning now, we can fill this need and be in a position of strength heading into the following few years. We have the bats to carry our lineup, keep in mind that pitching and defense win championships.
Sign Eduardo Nunez.
A Nunez reunion could prove to be beneficial to both sides. The 2016 All-Star hit .313 with 12 dingers and 58 RBI last season for the San Francisco Giants and Boston Red Sox. While defense has never been his strength, the Dominican Republic native can play all four infield positions and in the corner outfield.
Trade from our outfield depth to acquire a player that will fill one of our three needs on the 25-man roster.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Jabari Blash, Brett Gardner, Jake Cave, Clint Frazier, and either Billy McKinney or Tyler Austin could be moved to improve the team. Our overabundance of outfielders is a position of strength, and with Aaron Judge, Stanton, and Aaron Hicks able to more than adequately fill the three starting roles, we can afford to part ways with the remaining talent.
Ellsbury would be the obvious pick to move. However, it’s much easier said than done. Right now Jacoby is projected to be the Yankees fifth outfielder and is still owed over $60M. His contract is almost un-tradable if he could be moved the deal would have been completed by now.
Who could we trade for?
Harrison has already been linked to the Yankees when the Cole trade rumors were swirling around the Bombers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He is another excellent clubhouse personality who is very versatile and primarily plays second and third base.
Teheran’s name has never been mentioned in the media as a guy the Yankees have identified as a potential rotation piece. Simply put – this is a huge mistake. Julio is just 26-years old and is a controllable, and affordable mid-rotation starter. The Braves would most likely part with the Cartagena, Columbia native for a package headlined by Clint Frazier, who happens to be from Georgia. The deal just makes too much sense for both sides.