The 2022 – 2023 MLB offseason is upon us. Jon Heyman ranked a list of the Top 30 MLB Free Agents, a list that certainly has the attention of Yankees fans this offseason. I see a few obvious names on this list that make sense for the Yankee in the right scenario.
My list is based off players that would either make sense for the Yankees to sign/re-sign or players they may be linked to that would make absolutely no sense. Speaking of sense, let’s start with the MVP.
- Aaron Judge. The obvious, clear, no brain decision on this list. Pay the man. If you eat years on the back of the contract, you eat years on the back of the contract. It will all be forgotten when the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place. Aaron Judge is the most recognizable player in MLB. The contract will pay for itself, there is no reason to let this man leave for somewhere in California.
- Carlos Correa. No. Absolutely not. I don’t want him. I didn’t want the Yankees to sign him last year. I don’t want the Yankees to sign him now. He would be a terrible fit in New York. The former cheating Astro would come in as a villain to the majority of the fanbase. You think Joey Gallo had it bad?
- Trea Turner. Interesting, very interesting. Outside of Aaron Judge, Trea Turner may be the most intriguing name on this list. Trea Turner is the type of player that the Yankees should be filling their roster with. He’s a contact hitter, something the Yankees desperately need. Turner doesn’t strike out a lot, he’s more likely to put the ball in play. Signing Trea Turner would require some shuffling of the infield with Gleyber Torres or Isiah Kiner-Falefa being moved but he can play either shortstop or second base which allows flexibility in which player to trade. There is a lot of upside to signing Trea Turner.
- Justin Verlander. Unlikely, very unlikely. The Yankees missed their chance on Verlander years ago. He’s older, there are questions about his durability. He doesn’t have a very good World Series record, is that going to get better another year older? It seems like going this route would be like eating 4 day old leftovers. Maybe you won’t get sick but there are better options.
- Xander Boagaerts. I don’t see the Yankees signing Xander Boagaerts. I think it is a possibility, I think they should negotiate with him to drive up the price on the Red Sox. However, I don’t think signing the X man is the prudent move. As Luke has let us know on the podcast, he has the knack for disappearing after the All Star break which wouldn’t benefit the Yankees over a long term deal. He’s a good player but I don’t think he fits for the Yankees. That being said, I can still see the Yankees being the Yankees and signing Xander if Aaron Judge leaves for the lesser coast.
- Carlos Rodon. Things might get a little heated between the Yankees and the San Francisco Giants this offseason. I can see the Yankees making a play at the now former Giants (and White Sox) lefty. At only 29, Rodon can probably swing a 6 or 7 year deal on the open market. I don’t know if the Yankees will commit for that long. I predict the Yankees pursue Rodon but likely lose out due to the years. Another prediction, I think he still ends up in NY but in Queens instead of the Bronx.
- Edwin Diaz. Already re-signed with the Mets but I have him on the list for two reasons. First, in order to address another point. I think due to the Zack Britton injuries and the Aroldis Chapman debacle, the Yankees won’t be spending top dollar on a closer again anytime soon. I think it is much more likely they’ll either be developing their closers from within the organization or trading for under the radar relievers that need an adjustment or two to reach their potential. The Yankees have consistently developed solid bullpen arms over the past 10 or 15 years, I expect them to look from within going forward.
The second reason I mention Edwin Diaz is for an excuse to play the trumpets.
8. Anthony Rizzo. It’s possible. The Yankees extended a qualifying offer to Anthony Rizzo, if he accepts then he is back on a one year deal. If Anthony Rizzo declines the QO, it is unlikely he is back with the Yankees. Rizzo is a top notch first baseman. He’s a leader in the clubhouse. With the shift being eliminated next season, he’s likely to get more hits next season. Maybe it still happens on a two year deal but the hold up is going to be the logjam in the infield.
I really liked Anthony Rizzo. If you listen to the Bleacher Brawls podcast, you know Barnes and I are both fans. I would be happy keeping Rizzo in New York.
9. Jameson Taillon. I hope he’s back. I like Taillon, maybe even love Taillon. I’ve made that clear across all of our platforms. Jamo is a solid right handed starter. He’s proven that he can handle New York and Yankee Stadium. Despite being right handed, he doesn’t give up too many home runs in Yankee Stadium because he knows to keep the ball down. He induces a lot of ground balls instead of flyballs and strike outs. I like that he adds a different look to the Yankees rotation that tends to go heavy on the strike out/flyball pitchers. Taillon is mentally tough and a good fit for New York, keep him because you don’t know if his replacement will be the same.
10. Andrew Benintendi. Another interesting possibility. I think the Yankees make a run at keeping Andrew Benintendi. He’s a left hand contact hitter which is a need in this lineup. He’s an experienced postseason veteran and has the mental makeup to play in New York. I’ll never love him the way Red Sox fans loved him but I can see the Yankees keeping him.
Jacob deGrom. Not happening. Either he stays with the Mets or he leaves New York. Yankees are not in play for deGrom.
There you have it folks. I really hope the Yankees re-sign Aaron Judge. I can see Andrew Benintendi and Trea Turner fitting in nicely as solid, contact hitters. I would bring Taillon back and be open to an Anthony Rizzo reunion. I would stay the heck away from Carlos Correa and any high priced closers. And if the Yankees lose Aaron Judge to the Giants or Dodgers, I can see them signing the former Red Sox player in a knee jerk reaction.