Yankees 'Listening and Engaging' on Multiple Trade Possibilities, Brian Cashman Says – Bleacher Report


New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters on Wednesday he’s been “listening and engaging” on potential trade talks this offseason, including interest from around baseball regarding the team’s current infield depth.
“We don’t have a right fielder,” he added of the team’s needs. “We don’t have a left fielder. I’d always like to improve the pitching. We have some kids pushing in on the infield, so there’ll be, I would think, probably a lot of exciting opportunities that could play out next spring in the middle infield.”
The right-field vacancy comes down to the pending free agency of superstar slugger Aaron Judge, whose decision this winter will have a huge impact on the team’s future plans.
“Optimally, if you could wave a magic wand, we would secure Aaron Judge and retain him and have him signed and happy and in the fold as soon as possible,” Cashman told reporters. “But he’s a free agent. He’s earned the right to be a free agent. So he’ll dictate the dance steps.”
Cashman said he has been in touch with Judge’s rep at the GM Meetings. Would not say if the NYY have made an offer. Did say that he has been made no promise by Judge camp that the NYY will be given last chance to match/beat a best offer.
And he’ll have plenty of dance partners after an epic 2022 season that saw him hit .311 with 62 homers, 131 RBI, 133 runs, 16 stolen bases and a 1.111 OPS. Judge carried New York’s offense for long stretches this season, and his departure would be a huge blow.
The Yankees already have a projected payroll of $181 million for next season, per Spotrac, and a deal for Judge isn’t going to be cheap, alongside other needs in left field (Andrew Benintendi is a free agent) and potentially first base (Anthony Rizzo is a free agent) and the rotation (Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Chad Green are hitting free agency).
Cashman on Rizzo: “We like him on the field, and we like him in the clubhouse . . . He’s a free agent now. We’ll be one of many, I’m sure, that will engage him. He’ll hear what he hears on the marketplace and ultimately make a decision for him and his family.” <a href="https://twitter.com/MLBNetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLBNetwork</a>
Asked about shortstop, Cashman said that he views “a lot of exciting opportunities that could play out next spring in the middle infield category.” Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera &amp; Anthony Volpe all could be in play.
Add in the possibility of chasing one of the elite starters on the market, including Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodón and Jacob deGrom, and the wage sheet could start ticking up very quickly, depending on New York’s approach to free agency.
Given that infield depth, however, a trade might handle some of those needs without having to dip into the expensive waters of free agency. Still, the team’s entire offseason plan will probably hinge, at least in part, on Judge’s decision.
“I can’t sign a right fielder, right, that’s not Aaron Judge?” Cashman told reporters after he was asked what he planned to do while waiting out Judge’s decision. “I’m not going to do that in the near term.”

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