Despite the MLB collective bargaining agreement expiring in under a month there has been activity to kick off the offseason.

We have seen the normal option decisions and a couple of signings. We also know that teams are in contact with agents of players on the market and having trade discussions.

Brian Cashman himself said that he has already talked to agents for two shortstops, presumably those who represent Corey Seager and Carlos Correa. Cashman also mentioned shortstop and center field when asked if he had top priorities this offseason.

The Yankees have also been linked in trade discussion for Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson. Oakland is expected to slash payroll this offseason. They let their manager Bob Melvin go to San Diego and declined reliever Jake Diekmann’s option for $4 million for the 2022 season.

The Yankees are always mentioned with a bunch of players every offseason, often because agents want to drive up the price of those players. Given Cashman saying that he has some latitude with the payroll after resetting the luxury tax penalties in 2021, it would be logical to think that the Yankees could have real interest in these players.

Beyond the shortstop free agents that have been discussed, Starling Marte is a free agent as well and someone the Yankees were considering trading for at the deadline. After Cashman listing center field as a potential position to target there might be more legs to that report than some would initially think.

Another player of note is starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who trains with Yankees strength and conditioning coach Eric Cressey. Verlander held a throwing session in front of many teams at one of Cressey’s facilities. Unsurprisingly Yankees were among those teams.

If that story sounds familiar to you, that is because this is almost identical to what happened with Corey Kluber last year. He had links to the Yankees through Cressey and eventually signed with the team. This does not mean it is a sure thing that Verlander will sign with New York, but it certainly would not be a surprise at this point.

There is more expectation for the Yankees to be aggressive through free agency and trade this offseason for a multitude of reasons.

Photo: Kevin R. Wexler

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