While the Yankees are focused on re-signing Aaron Judge, general manager Brian Cashman, and Co. have to multitask. Even if it’s all related to Judge in the end.
Part of that focus was spent re-signing Anthony Rizzo to a new two-year deal with a club option for 2025. And according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, New York is also checking in with the top of MLB’s free-agent market.
This included making contact with the reps for Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Brandon Nimmo. Heyman mostly suggested these as a backup plan if things don’t work out with Judge. However, he also noted that people around the organization are feeling optimistic about New York’s chances of re-signing its slugger.
But who knows…is Hal Steinbrenner tired of the current Yankees narrative? He recently said he doesn’t have an absolute payroll number in mind heading into 2023. Actions speak louder than words, of course, so this is something many people will have to see before actually believing it.
Looking at things from the surface, it certainly feels like these potential targets would take priority should Judge sign elsewhere. Any of the shortstops mentioned would help New York instantly regain some star power while supplementing the offense in a meaningful way.
You’d have to imagine there are more than a few Yankee fans out there saying, “Well, why not both?”
It’d be a big expenditure, but one well within the Yankees’ capabilities. Based on other comments so far this offseason, changes appear to be on the horizon for New York’s infield. Steinbrenner also said his intention is to have Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza in the middle infield next season.
Does that mean Gleyber Torres gets traded? And the left side of the infield won’t include both IKF and Josh Donaldson? Manager Aaron Boone said several times during New York’s end-of-season press conference that the Yankees are close to getting over the hump to win a championship.
But they’ve been close three times since 2017 and have come up short on each occasion. The Houston Astros aren’t going anywhere, so the Yankees must think more creatively to improve their current roster.
A mixture of signing top free agents while giving some of their top prospects a chance to prove themselves is a good start. Like everything else related to the Yankees this winter, though, everything kind of hinges on what Judge decides.
You’d have to imagine New York wants to wrap up that situation as quickly as possible. Judging from the Yankees’ recent roster decisions, I have to agree with Heyman. It seems like their contact with Correa, Turner, and others is part of a Plan B scenario.
But maybe it’s not. That’s the beauty of getting to sit back and find out for ourselves as everything unfolds.