Possible Targets From A Lost Season


They are playing out the string in a lost New York season for the Yankees and Mets and not too early to speculate those roster moves that could make next August and September more interesting. Then again, two of the highest payrolls in baseball were supposed to be playing for something now and a last place finish for both teams is reality.

Before I present some of the projected names on the market, via trade or free agency spending, I will not include the talk of Pete Alonso and the Mets moving their franchise player. Despite numerous reports and speculation, and I won’t discredit the sources, Alonso and the Mets will work out a long term deal. He is too valuable, a draw at the gate, and the Mets won’t be fools and make another disastrous mistake that puts them a step back from World Series contention.

What has been speculation, from those sources claiming high ranking officials regarding Alonso is on the trade market, others are telling me otherwise. I have always trusted their integrity.

Both teams have plenty of work ahead before talking about World Series contention. They fell more than a step back as teams in their divisions will be viable contenders in the years ahead. Very similar needs for the Yankees and Mets with the pitching rotation, bullpen, lineup, off the bench and there are resources to make it better.

Again, though, we envisioned this 2023 season for October baseball. The rosters in April were constructed to make this a special New York baseball season. But this is baseball, a long season and they did not play to the back of their baseball cards.

Regardless, this presents to be a challenging and competitive offseason of activity for both teams. Challenging because the Yankees and Mets are not using that word rebuild and have those tools to finalize a blockbuster trade or two. They have the resources to spend and do it wisely without breaking the bank, and not looking at Shohei Ohtani signing a $400 million contract with either team. The Yankees and Mets can’t put all their assets into one player, no there are a bunch of significant needs. Ohtani, let’s not forget, could be facing another round of Tommy John surgery, hence that leaves more than one baseball executive with a pensive thought and attitude.

I have compiled a brief list of potential names on the market. Via trade or free agency, the Yankees and Mets can start from here, again they say it’s not a rebuild. The general manager picture in New York baseball is also a major role in this, and I don’t see Brian Cashman losing his role with the Yankees. Billy Eppler and the Mets, all contingent if owner Steve Cohen can lure David Stearns, the former Brewers GM, to New York.

I am not the GM but I present my case for a possible top-5 that can fill voids for either team.

Tim Anderson: White Sox in that rebuild mode and could present a viable trade though will be offered an option. The two-time All-Star has the tools. The Yankees need to shore up their infield and Anderson is looking for a change. Though the Yankees are counting on Anthony Volpe for their future, they will surely get calls about a potential move of Gleyber Torres, who has been a consistent hitter with defensive liabilities in the infield.

Cody Bellinger: A perfect fit for the Yankees in his walk-off year with the Cubs. Bellinger having another All-Star season and was a trade target at the deadline. Why Bellinger? Changes the complexion of a Yankees lineup that needs more contact. Bellinger is that type of hitter at first base, more likely center field if the Yankees part ways with Harrison Bader and some playing time at first base with Anthony Rizzo. The Yankees need to sign Bellinger at their affordable range if the Cubs don’t.

Corbin Burnes: RHP pitcher Milwaukee Brewers. Contract extension has not come and the Brewers could decide his future pending the outcome of the postseason. Similar need for the Yankees and Mets to fill a void or two in their rotation, then again every team is looking for pitching in what will be a competitive free agent period for starters. Corbin, though, is under club control through 2024.

Matt Chapman: Who needs a third baseman more? The Yankees and Chapman would be a perfect fit, via free agency if they are serious about an upgrade. The 30-year old with the Blue Jays continues to be a leader in defensive runs saved, something the Yankees have lacked. Home run production has declined but Chapman still makes contact.

Aaron Nola: A class of the free agent market pitchers. Phillies fans go in different directions with the 30-year old righthander. The Mets rotation fills a major gap with Nola who has one of the best curveballs in the league. Though not a Cy Young type pitcher, Nola provides innings and the Mets will be on the market for a viable starter to go along with Kodai Senga. I would not bypass the Mets’ looking into Julio Urias if the Dodgers don’t make a bid to re-sign a main part of their rotation.

Rich Mancuso: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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