The New York Yankees failed to do much before the lockout, irking fans in the process.
It may or may not happen, but either way, they are likely to address the shortstop situation via free agency.
They still have other needs and holes to fill, though, and the trade market could be their best friend.
Here are some of the players they could target once transactions are allowed again.
3. Frankie Montas
The Yankees really need to do something about their rotation.
Nestor Cortes Jr. (2.90 ERA in 93 innings) was a product of the pitcher’s will to improve and the Yankees’ resources, but it remains to be seen if he can keep up that performance level.
The Yankees should bring in at least two solid pitchers, and Frankie Montas fits the bill.
Montas is good (3.86 career ERA, 2.63 in 2019, 3.37 in 2021), young (28 years old) and is under team control for two more seasons.
He is the perfect target for the Yankees, as the Oakland A’s may be willing to discuss him because he could get expensive in arbitration.
A’s are willing to listen to trade inquiries on their veterans, including pitching stars Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas and Sean Manaea. Should be huge interest.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 9, 2021
Trading for Montas would put the Yankees in very good position to contend in the tough American League East.
2. Bryan Reynolds
By now, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ reluctance to trade Bryan Reynolds is well-known and, frankly, justified.
He is one of the best center fielders in the National League, after slashing .302/.390/.522 with 24 home runs and 5.5 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in 2021.
Additionally, he is under team control for the next four seasons, which dramatically drives up his price.
Yet, the Yankees could definitely use another center fielder, since Aaron Hicks has had elbow and wrist surgeries in the past three seasons and wasn’t producing much when he went down with his injury in May.
Having Reynolds around could allow the Yankees to send Hicks to a corner or in a rotation for playing time.
He is unlikely to be moved, but the Yankees certainly have the pieces that could interest the Pirates.
1. Matt Olson
First baseman is not the most pressing need for the Yankees, but it is a need: Luke Voit has become injury-prone and his defense is very bad.
The Yankees’ dream scenario would be signing Freddie Freeman, but it could very difficult to steal him away from the Atlanta Braves.
Matt Olson of the A’s is reportedly available, but Oakland, naturally, is asking for the moon.
1. Lockout stops all signings; stating the obvious.
2. The Yankees 1B priorities are Olson and Freeman.
3. Rizzo is the alternative if Olson is too much to trade for and if Freeman goes back to Atlanta or the Dodgers. https://t.co/8GcQfY2Rhs
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) December 14, 2021
After all, Olson is still 27, with two years of control left, and is fresh off hitting 39 bombs in 2021.
He slashed a rock-solid .271/.371/.540, has power, knows how to take a walk, and plays solid defense.
If the Bombers are okay with parting with some of their best prospects, they could get one of the top left-handed hitting power threats in the game.