Yankees Free Agents, Trade Pursuits. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED & What to Expect.

By Adam King Thekingsource.com

I have heard a lot of BS of how the Yankees handle Free agency and trades over the last few years and how they will approach it. Here’s the true stories of several big names and what really happened. Both trade rumors and FA rumors. Let’s clarify what happened. I will use info from several the experts articles and such. A bunch of info I have compiled from them.

Let’s start with 2 years ago in the 2018-2019 off-season. There was a ton of questions as to what the Yankees were doing. Here’s come clerity!

  1. OF Bryce Harper: So Yes the Yankees were after him and talked to him. They even made him what I call a verbal offer telling him in one of their meetings we’ll go 8 years $240 Million (including 2 team options). He was actually going to take it till the Phillies last minute offer of 13 years and $325 Million landed him. Interesting things…
  2. INF Manny Machado: Yankees had him in the bag. He was signing. The deal was 7 years $245 Million with a vesting option for an 8th year. The Yankees and Machado even had a preliminary agreement on the table during his Yankee Stadium tour. Then came the Padre LITERALLY LAST SECOND with the 10 year $300 Million offer and stole him away.
  3. LHP Patrick Corbin: Another player the Yankees literally had agreed with but whom a last second offer stole away. The Nats this time came in last second with the 7 year $160 Million offer to steal him from the Yankees.

If the Nats, Padres, and Phillies had never come the Yankees would have landed all 3. Unbelievable what greed does.

Now for this last offseason:

  1. RHP Garret Cole: Were starting with the one the Yankees landed. Let’s be clear he was always going to the @Yankees! This was 100% always the plan. The Angels and Dodgers were literally the only other teams to even make offers as they knew this. The Nats, Phillies, Rangers and other teams connected to him never even tried. The Astros contrary to popular belief never made an offer. Never even talked to him. Cole decided on the Yankees before ever hitting FA. He decided decades ago actually as a child. The deal was in place weeks before the winter meetings and was only finalized there. Both Cole and the @Yankees knew the whole time it was a done deal and the only thing left to work out was the #’s and deets. This is going too happen again with a certain switch hitting SS.
  2. RHP Stephen Strasburg:  Another player the Yankees nearly signed before he took a larger offer elsewhere. This time to stay with the Nats. I fully respect staying with one’s team. The Yankees had a 7 year $210 Million offer on the table to him. He was going to take it and join Cole with the Yankees till the Nats got incredibly aggressive and he returned. I do question as to whether he was seriously going to join the Yankees or just using them to get the Nats to up their offer which they eventually did.
  3. LHP Madison Bumgarner: While the Yankees were very seriously after him he was always returning home to Arizona. This was always happening just like Cole to the Yankees.
  4. 3B Anthony Rendon: Yes the Yankees talked with him and even made him an offer. They did not seriously pursue him as they have full designs on landing Nolan Arenado. I will touch o0n this a bit later. Rendon’s offer from the Yankees was 6 Years $150 Million. He never really considered it and got a larger offer from the Angels and went there. The Nats surprisingly enough never actually tried for him. They knew Carter Kieboom was ready to take over at 3B.
  5. SS Francisco Lindor: Yes he has the same plans to enter FA and join the Yankees. The Yankees are 100% eyeing him. They will attempt a trade 1st as they did this past off season and got by far the closest to landing him. Pay close attention as things move on this year as the Indians want to move him before they lose him for nothing.
  6. LHP Josh Hader: Yes the rumors are 100% true. The Yankees were extremely close to landing him for a package around Deivi Garcia and Miguel Andujar. All the way till ST was shut down. The last piece in the deal was and remains the hold up. The Yankees view him as the heir to Chapman as closer. The Brewers are drooling over Andujar. I will be at the very least surprised if it does not happen.
  7. 3B Nolan Arenado: I will say this once and emphatically…. THE YANKEES ARE 100% INTERESTED IN ARENADO! The fully plan on doing their greatest effort on acquiring him. The question is when? I think in trade this next offseason. Also the package the Rockies were said to demand was tailored for the Yankees. A Catcher, replacement 3B, Young RH hitting OF, and 2+ young pitchers. IE: Kyle Higashioka, Gio Urshella, Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia/Miguel Yajure/Domingo German, and Ben Heller. Or something very close to this. This is almost guaranteed happen. Rockies desperately need it as do the Yankees.

Now let’s take a look some upcoming FA’s including current Yankees FA’s and whether they are in the Yankees plans or not:

Yankees FA’s:

LHP James Paxton: 100% getting resigned/extended. The Yankees love him and feel he’s a 2nd ACE in their rotation!

RHP Masahiro Tanaka: 100% a goner. The Yankees now have prized prospect Clarke Schmidt ready to take Tanaka’s spot in the rotation. Also Tanaka 100% getting a 4+ year, $20+ Million per year contract the Yankees want nothing to do with. Unless Tanaka stunningly drops his asking price he’s gone. Most likely to the Dodgers.

OF Brett Gardner: His time as a Yankee is already over with Hicks back healthy. How do you fit an aging 36 year old OF with the worse OF defense in the game the last 2 years in a OF that already contains the 30 year old Giancarlo Stanton, 28 year old Aaron Judge, 29 Year old Aaron Hicks, 28 Year old Mike Tauchman, and 25 year old Clint Frazier? It’s also going to add the still 17 year old Jasson Dominguez in a year or 2. Gardner is done as a Yankee. He needs to retire or find a new place to play.

OF Giancarlo Stanton: I only mention him due to his opt out clause. Let me make this clear HE IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE! He is not opting out period! There’s ZERO% chance he comes close matching what’s left on his current contract. Yankees will get the $38 Million from the Marlins making his deal an absolute bargain.

LHP Zack Brittan: Another guy not going anywhere. Has 2 years left once the Yankees exercise his 4th year option.

INF DJ LaMahieu: He’s staying put period. Yankees and DJ already in extension talks and I expect it done before FA starts. I have heard 2 to 3 years at around $12-$15 Million per. Well worth it for the best lead-off man in the game.

Catchers Erik Kratz, Chris Ianetta, and Josh Thole: I expect 2 to retire and one back on another 1 year deal.

Other FA’s:

OF Mookie Betts: Yes the Yankees have some interest and Betts 100% wants to join the team he grew up idolizing in the Yankees. Betts will need to be reasonable though to make this happen. I have heard as you have the rumor he’s demanding $400 Million+ which is a lie. Experts know he can’t even demand $300 Million coming of a 60 game 2020 shortened season. A 1 year prove it deal makes sense with the Dodgers or Yankees and trying it again next year. That’s what I see coming. The largest deal he can get ANYWHERE right now I have heard in the area of 8 Years $240 Million. If he wants more it’s going to be a prove-it deal for 2021 and then the mega deal. It would take a trade of Hicks to facilitate this I think…

RHP Trevor Bauer: Yes the Yankees have interest. He would be the perfect fit in a rotation that will look like this:

1. RHP Garrett Cole

2. LHP James Paxton

3. RHP Luis Severino

4. RHP Clarke Schmidt

I do not include Gumby (Jordan Montgomery) as we do not know if he can even handle pitching anymore.

With Bauer added to that it easily becomes the best rotation in the game. There’s plenty of mutual interest as well.

SS Marcus Semien: The Yankees have some interest but experts do not see the A’s letting him get away at all. I don’t see it either.

RHP Marcus Stroman: There’s plenty of mutual interest here as well. He’ll come cheap and be a great #5 option. I see it only if they do not get Bauer though.

OF Joc Pederson: Yes the Yankees are 100% interested in him BUT… Again unless they trade Hicks it’s not happening. Also all the more reason Gardner is done as a Yankee.

RHP Liam Hendricks: Yankees 100% going after this guy. Add him to Chapman, Brittan, Ottavino, Kahnle, Green, and Hader and look out! It would take a 3+ year deal for around $15 Million to get it done but he is 100% worth it!

Summery: So as you can see the Yankees are always very active. They will always be. Bear in mind the 2021 CBA is going to permanently destroy the luxury tax. The Yankees also have over $100 Million coming off the books this offseason including a bunch from A-Rod’s final installment. Yankees can and will do whatever they want, period. They don’t have to trade anyone or clear anything from the book to go get anyone! Bear in mind we don’t and most likely never will know if players were just using the Yankees or actually seriously going to take the Yankees offers. We know a bit more going forward…