2021 was an exceptionally disappointing year for the Yankees and Yankees fans alike. There wasn’t a whole lot to root for this season, and the general malaise with which the team played seemed to have carried over to the offseason prior to the lockout, as the front office stood pat and watched teams like the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, and New York Mets dole out millions of dollars to free agents.
With Christmas Eve upon us, though, there is a renewed sense of hope for the upcoming year, and there are still a number of enticing targets out there for the Yankees to pursue once baseball activities are allowed to resume. Here are the offseason moves that I’m adding to my Christmas wish list.
#1: Become the Yankees again
This one is one of two non-concrete entries on this list, but I just really want the Yankees to get back to their roots of aggressively pursuing the top talent in the league. While a lot of the George Steinbrenner narratives that circulate on online forums and Twitter are romanticized beyond belief, a post-lockout return to aggressive form for the Yankees front office would be nice to see. After all, there’s only one team nicknamed the Evil Empire. It’s time for the Yankees to start acting like it again.
#2: Sign Carlos Correa
I’m sure I’m about to get yelled at in the comments for this one, but Carlos Correa is very clearly the best player on the market and signing him would be the type of splash that would really kick New York’s offseason into high gear. Conveniently, Correa is one of the best shortstops in the league and the Yankees do not currently have a shortstop on their major league roster. He is an upgrade in every way, both offensively and defensively, over Gleyber Torres, and I, for one, really don’t want to see the Gio Urshela shortstop experiment for an entire season. The move just makes way too much sense.
#3: Trade for Matt Olson
While I do really love Freddie Freeman, I think the odds of him actually leaving Atlanta are so minimal that he’s probably not worth hoping for. Luckily for the Yankees, there’s another first baseman with a career 132 wRC+ who swings a powerful left-handed bat that might be available on the trade market out West. If the Yankees do indeed sign Correa to a big contract, it will likely mean they will look to the trade market to make another splash, and there likely isn’t a bigger get than Olson, an elite hitter who plays solid enough defense at first base. Can you imagine a Correa-Judge-Stanton-Olson heart of the lineup? I’m already drooling. It’s also worth noting that Olson is 27, or five years younger than the Yankees’ other rumored first base targets in Freeman and Anthony Rizzo.
#4: Bring in an outfield depth piece (not named Brett Gardner)
I am still a believer in Aaron Hicks’ ability when he can stay healthy (I know, I know...), but his recent inability to stay on the field fails to give even me a sense of hope. With Clint Frazier now on the Cubs and Brett Gardner hopefully bound for retirement after a very solid career, the Yankees should turn to the international free agent market to attract another outfielder. That’s where Seiya Suzuki comes in. Though Suzuki’s primary position is right field, he has played his fair share of innings in left and center. His positional flexibility would be perfect for this team who loves to schedule and rotate rest days for their outfielders. Though Suzuki would not be a marquee international free agent signee, his defensive versatility — combined with his solid offensive potential and his rumored potential contract — make him a very appealing depth piece for the Yankees. Oh, and he’s also only 27 years old.
I know this is a lot, but a guy can dream, right? There’s still a long ways to go until the existing labor issues are resolved, but the holidays are the best time to look forward with nothing but optimism and hope before the inevitable disappointment of the new year. In the spirit of the holiday season, we’d love to see your wish lists! Let us know who you want the Yankees to sign (or trade!) in the comments below.