When the Yankees traded for Anthony Rizzo, first base wasn’t an area of concern, at least to fans. Luke Voit was close to returning from his injury and DJ LeMahieu was handling the position well. Will the Yankees add a first baseman to their To-do list?
It is reported that Anthony Rizzo is interested in staying in pinstripes. Acquiring him at the deadline was a surprise to many and a little confusing especially when Voit remained on the team after 4 PM.
The three-time All-Star is "quite eager" to re-sign with the Yankees this offseason. https://t.co/mTaNZR4XGr — Audacy Sports (@AudacySports) October 25, 2021
They tried to trade Luke Voit at the deadline when landing Rizzo. It is almost certain that they will be trying again.
Another name I see floating around is Matt Olson from the A’s. It seems like the A’s could be selling this off-season so it’s best to keep an eye on the Yankees looking to acquire Olsen. Olson is a left-handed hitter that hit .271/.540/.911 this season. Acquiring him will continue to keep a lefty in the lineup and a good defensive first baseman as well. Another player available is the current World Series Champ, Freddie Freeman.
If the Yankees decide not to add a first baseman, LeMahieu has proved he is capable of playing the position. Not the best but enough at least until the trade deadline. The question is are the Yankees comfortable with that move. You don’t go through the trouble of adding someone like Rizzo at the deadline if you know you will stay with someone that seems to play first base well enough.
Certainly adding someone like Rizzo or Olsen doesn’t hurt the team. The move can have Gio Urshela off the team though. It is expected that he will get about $6M in arbitration next year. Even though LeMahieu has played third base, Urshela has proven he can handle the hot corner. He isn’t the best but unless the Yankees trade LeMahieu or Gleyber Torres, there will be no place for Urshela. Don’t be surprised if Urshela is in another uniform next year and/or you hear rumors about a possible trade with Torres. Trading Torres can move LeMahieu to his best position while allowing the addition of a better defensive first baseman and Urshela remaining at third. Unless the Yankees decide to upgrade third base as well…
UTILITY UPGRADE INSTEAD?
Another quiet option can be Kris Bryant. He can play third base, outfield, and first base. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Yankees “checked in” on Bryant if Brain Cashman is approached about Torres and Urshela being on the trade table.
I know he doesn't "balance" the lineup, but I'm frankly surprised we don't hear more about Kris Bryant from #Yankees fans. His D versatility is valuable. He feels like ~6/150m to me, maybe 7/175m. If Sox sign him, that is very bad news. — Jeff – US ex-pat in Lisbon (@PEMdocResists) October 28, 2021
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees want their infield to look in 2022.