It appears as though the days of the New York Yankees making major splashes on the free agency and trade markets are becoming few and far between, which puts the franchise in a difficult spot as they appear just one or two pieces away from a legitimate World Series push.
While the lifting of MLB’s lockout provided the promise of some big moves — and they did grab the headlines late Sunday night in a package deal for Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa — the Yankees appear as though they are going to fall short on both big-name lefty first basemen in Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman.
Sizable misses for an already impressive lineup that is too right-handed heavy for Yankee Stadium and its short porch in right field.
Freeman remarkably remains a free agent after the Atlanta Braves failed to secure him to a long-term deal before the lockout as his search for a six-year deal continues.
The 2020 NL MVP followed up a stellar season with an impressive 2021, slashing .300/.393/.503 (.896 OPS) with 31 home runs and 83 RBI — all while helping the Braves win their first World Series title since 1995 while taking home Fall Classic MVP honors.
As it stands, the Braves and Freeman’s hometown Los Angeles Dodgers are believed to be the final two teams in the mix.
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Out in Oakland, the Athletics continue to sell the farm as Olson is available on the trade market. The A’s have already parted ways with notable players this offseason including center fielder Starling Marte and starting pitcher Chris Bassitt — both of whom are now members of the Mets.
Olson’s value couldn’t be higher coming off a career year, posting a .911 OPS with 39 home runs and 111 RBI — good for eighth in the American League MVP voting.
Per Heyman, the Athletics are looking for the Yankees’ top prospect in shortstop Anthony Volpe in return, which New York has already turned down.
It means that their best bet at first base is reuniting with Anthony Rizzo, who the Yankees acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline last year. The left-hander batted .249 with eight home runs and 21 RBI in 49 games with New York last season.