Why a Trade For This Player Seems Unlikely After Recent Reports
By Derek McAdam
February 4, 2022
The New York Yankees have been linked to Oakland A’s first baseman Matt Olson for a good chunk of this off-season, hoping to upgrade at first base after the departure of Anthony Rizzo and the concerns surrounding Luke Voit.
But recent reports have said that the Yankees are unwilling to send Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza to the A’s to acquire the 27-year old first baseman with two years of arbitration remaining on his contract. Oakland has been rumored to want one of the two players in a deal for Olson.
Olson would be the most attractive first baseman to acquire, as he is under team control for another two years and would not require the money that Freddie Freeman will want once the lockout ends. Rizzo is still in the mix to come back to the Yankees, but he does not have the offensive statistics that Olson has.
Oakland should not be faulted for wanting a large return for Olson. He was arguably their best player last season and has plenty of power from the left-handed batter’s box. He would also be an improvement at first base from Voit, although Rizzo may be slightly better defensively.
These reports indicate that Brian Cashman is remaining extremely confident in his top prospects and believes that one of these two players will become a star for the Yankees, even after the Yankees just signed the top international shortstop prospect Roderick Arias.
Cashman has not been one to deal out top prospects for rentals or even players with several years remaining on their contracts and has only done this a handful of times over the past decade. Unless Oakland decides that they would take a different package of players, Olson will most likely not end up in the Bronx.
So where do the Yankees go from here? They can go for a free agent first baseman in Freeman or Rizzo, with Rizzo being the favorite of those two to sign with the Yankees. They can make a trade for a first baseman that has not been linked to the Yankees and surprise us all.
Or they stick with what they already have in Voit, which very well could end up happening. While I see first base as one of the priorities to upgrade, I cannot see anyone besides Rizzo or Voit starting at first base on Opening Day for the Yankees. Rizzo has expressed interest in coming back to the Yankees, but if he is given a competitive offer to play in his home state of Florida, I can see him taking that deal over the Yankees.
We will just have to sit back and wait to see what happens.