We are less than a week away from the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and MLBPA expiring and it would be a shock if there was any last minute agreement.
This means that there will be a lockout and transactions will freeze across the league until a new agreement is made.
There has been some moments where it seemed like the Yankees would be making some kind of significant move over the last couple of weeks. They were in the running for Justin Verlander before he returned to the Houston Astros and there has been buzz about a potential Matt Olson trade with the Oakland Athletics.
Taking into account everything going on it would be surprising if the Yankees added their shortstop or made any type of major move before the current CBA expires next week. The only relatively major move that would seem plausible is a signing of starting pitcher Jon Gray, who is reportedly expecting to sign with a team before the deadline. It would make a lot of sense for him to sign shortly after Steven Matz signed with the Cardinals.
Free agent RHP Jon Gray is viewed within the baseball industry as a good candidate to sign within the next week. Steven Matz's contract is a useful reference point for Gray; both are 30 years old, and neither received a qualifying offer. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 24, 2021
Corey Seager has been reported as the one shortstop who is most likely to sign before the lockout if any of them do, but it is hard to imagine a team making a signing that big without fully knowing what the financial landscape of the league will be under the new CBA. This goes for players like Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien as well.
Regarding the Olson situation, it also makes sense for the Athletics to wait until after the CBA happens as well. Their goal is to slash payroll, but with there being the slight possibility of a salary floor of some sorts being introduced the Athletics might wait just to confirm that they can unload as much money as they want to. The National League is also likely to have the designated hitter introduced as well. That could create more suitors for Olson as a given team could convert their current first baseman to designated hitter.
The expectation for the Yankees to have a very active offseason is still there, but it looks like it is going to take a lot of patience from the fanbase waiting for these moves to happen.
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