Yankees free agency and trade buzz: NY trades Lucas Luetge to Braves for two minor leaguers
Here is the latest free agency and trade buzz surrounding the Yankees..
Dec. 28, 8:02 p.m.
The Yankees announced they have acquired minor leaguers INF Caleb Durbin and RHP Indigo Diaz from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Lucas Luetge.
Durbin, 22, split time with the Braves’ single-A and high-A affiliates in 2022 where he slashed .241/.352/.372 with eight home runs and 62 RBI in 382 at-bats.
Diaz, 24, went 3-4 with four saves and a 3.08 ERA (49.2IP, 29H, 20R/17ER, 31BB, 63K, 4HR) in 49 relief appearances in Double-A last season.
New York designated Luetge for assignment on Dec. 21 after signing Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal.
In 2022, Luetge was a solid bullpen arm for the Yankees. In 50 appearances, the left-hander went 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA and two saves. Luetge pitched two seasons in pinstripes and had an overall record of 8-6 with three saves and a 2.71 ERA.
Dec. 23, 1:30 p.m.
The Yankees have agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Wilmer Difo, according to multiple reports.
The 30-year-old’s contract is a split deal that will pay him $1.2 million if he’s in the majors and gives him the right to opt-out of the deal on July 1, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Difo played in just three games for the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2022 season and did not record a hit in his six at-bats. Over 116 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021, Difo hit .269 with four home runs, seven doubles, three triples and 24 RBI.
The switch-hitter has major league experience at second base, shortstop, third base and even some outfield during his eight-year career with the Washington Nationals, Pirates, and Diamondbacks. He owns a career batting average of .250 with 19 home runs, 36 doubles, 14 triples and 103 RBI over 492 games.
Dec. 22, 10:09 a.m.
The Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates have been in contact regarding a possible Bryan Reynolds trade.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Yankees are among multiple teams who have reached out about the outfielder, though Morosi notes that the Pirates prefer starting pitching prospects as part of the return, and the Yankees system isn’t currently flush with pitching.
Reynolds, 27, requested a trade earlier this offseason after hitting .262/.345/.461 with 27 homers and 62 RBI in 145 games with the Pirates last season.
Reynolds has played all three outfield spots in the majors over the course of his career, though most of his time has come in center (303 games) and left field (129 games).
With Harrison Bader in center field and Aaron Judge in right, Reynolds would likely start in left field for the Yankees if they were to acquire him, allowing Giancarlo Stanton to spend most of his time as the team’s DH.
Dec. 21, 6:15 p.m.
The Yankees officially announced the signing of Tommy Kahnle to a two-year deal Wednesday and to make room on the 40-man roster for the RHP, the team designated Lucas Luetge for assignment.
In 2022, Luetge was a solid bullpen arm for the Yankees. In 50 appearances, the left-hander went 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA and two saves. Luetge pitched two seasons in pinstripes and had an overall record of 8-6 with three saves and a 2.71 ERA.
Dec. 20, 1:21 p.m.
Infielder Matt Carpenter, who was red-hot to start his brief Yankees tenure in 2022 and wound up slashing .305/.412/.727 with 15 home runs in 47 games, has signed with the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports.
Per Jon Heyman of The New York Post, Carpenter’s deal will pay him $6 million in 2023 and contains a $6 million player option for 2024. There are also incentives attached to the deal.
After his terrific start with the Yankees, Carpenter fractured his left foot after fouling a ball off it on Sept. 28.
That injury led to Carpenter getting just two plate appearances during the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians. In the ALCS against the Houston Astros, Carpenter went just 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts.
Dec. 16, 4:40 p.m.
Andrew Benintendi has agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal with the Chicago White Sox, according to multiple reports.
The Yankees acquired the All-Star OF from the Kansas City Royals on July 27 and he played 33 games for them, but suffered a broken bone in his wrist on Sept. 2 that required surgery and caused him to miss the postseason.
The 28-year-old hit .254 with two homers, nine doubles, a triple and 12 RBI in 114 at-bats with the Yankees. He finished the 2022 season with a slash line of .304/.373/.399 with five home runs, 23 doubles, and 51 RBI in 126 games (93 with Royals).
Over seven big league seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Royals and Yankees, Benintendi has a career slash line of .279/.351/.431 with 73 homers, 169 doubles, 18 triples, 69 stolen bases, and 384 RBI.
Dec. 13, 11:00 p.m.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the teams expressing interest in Carlos Rodon, but “it’s unlikely the Cardinals would shell out the years and money” the lefty is looking for, according to The Athletic’s Katie Woo.
Rodon is reportedly aiming for a seven-year deal worth at least $30 million annually. A $200 million deal would be the most the Cardinals have ever spent on a player.
The Yankees reportedly made their initial offer to Rodon on Tuesday, but there’s a “sizeable gap” between the two sides. The San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins are among other teams interested in the pitcher.
Dec. 13, 11:35 p.m.
The Yankees have reportedly made their first initial offer to LHP Carlos Rodon, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, and it seems like there’s a “sizable gap” between the two sides.
The lefty is said to be looking for a seven-year deal for at least $30 million annually. The report goes on to say that Rodon remains the Yankees’ top priority and the team believes they can come to a compromise with Rodon’s camp.
The St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, and Minnesota Twins are among teams interested in Rodon.
If Rodon becomes too pricey for the Yankees, New York’s next choice for starter is Nate Eovaldi, per The Post. Eovaldi pitched for the Bombers in 2015-16 before finding success with the Boston Red Sox in recent years.
Dec. 12, 8:50 p.m.
Talks between the Yankees and Carlos Rodon have opened and, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, a “formal offer was expected to be delivered late Monday or possibly Tuesday.”
Rodon is reportedly looking for a deal in the range of seven years and $200 million and Heyman noted the Yankees “seem reluctant to go that length,” but “also seem very serious and hopeful about this pursuit.” And while New York has been linked with free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa, it is clear their main focus is Rodon.
Rodon, two days removed from his 30th birthday, is coming off back-to-back solid seasons in which he pitched to a 2.67 ERA over 310.2 innings in 55 starts for the Chicago White Sox and San Francisco Giants.
Dec. 12, 12:43 p.m.
The San Francisco Giants remain in pursuit of free agent LHP Carlos Rodon after signing LHP Sean Manaea to a two-year deal on Sunday, reports Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Manaea received a two-year deal for $25 million that contains an opt-out after 2023.
In addition to the Giants and Yankees, it was reported over the weekend by Jon Heyman of The New York Post that the St. Louis Cardinals are believed to be interested in Rodon.
Rodon, who is entering his age-30 season, is reportedly seeking a deal that is seven years long.
Dec, 11 9:55 a.m.
The Yankees are “preparing to make an offer” to left-hander Carlos Rodon, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Heyman reports that the bidding war could come down to the Yankees and Giants, just as was the case with Aaron Judge (the Padres also made Judge an offer). Heyman also notes that the Yankees seem “hopeful, or perhaps even optimistic” about landing the lefty.
SNY’s Andy Martino has reported that the Yankees are very much in on Rodon, who is said to be seeking either a six or seven-year deal.
Dec. 10, 2:55 p.m.
Carlos Correa‘s market is heating up after a recent report has multiple teams “in on” the All-Star shortstop.
According to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Giants, Twins and Cubs are among the team in on Correa. San Francisco, after missing out on Aaron Judge and Trea Turner, are looking to bring in a high-profile free agent.
The Twins are hoping to bring Correa back after he spent the 2022 season with Minnesota, and the Cubs are hoping to continue their surprising off season by bringing in the Puerto Rican native.
This report comes a day after there was buzz surrounding Correa and the Yankees when ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated that New York was “working on something big” after re-signing Judge earlier in the week.
In early November, the Yankees did check-in on all four big free-agent shortstops. Turner signed with the Phillies and Xander Bogaerts signed with the Padres. Correa and Dansby Swanson are the two remaining shortstops of that group.
Dec. 10, 10:40 a.m.
Numerous reports, including SNY’s Andy Martino have indicated the Yankees have expressed serious interest in free-agent left-hander Carlos Rodon.
That certainly won’t come cheap, as the 30-year-old is reportedly seeking at least a seven-year deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“New York was the team most linked to the All-Star left-hander as the Winter Meetings wrapped up at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, and sources told The Chronicle that Rodon is seeking a minimum of seven years on a $100 million-plus deal,” Slusser noted.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said on air the other day that it’s possible Rodon’s guarantee “could begin with a 2.”
It was previously reported that Rodon was looking for six years, but with the state of the market this offseason he appears to have bumped his asking price.
Rodon is coming off back-to-back healthy breakout campaigns.
The Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox, Rangers, Giants, and Orioles are among a handful of other teams that have shown interest in the veteran southpaw.
Dec. 8, 12:22 p.m.
With Jameson Taillon heading to the Chicago Cubs, the Yankees certainly need to add another starter. But the biggest name left on the market appears to be upping his price by the day.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said on air that it’s possible Rodon’s guarantee “could begin with a 2.”
It was previously reported that Rodon could be seeking a six-year deal with an AAV around $30 million, but now there’s a chance Rodon could end up netting a $200 million-plus contract.
SNY’s Andy Martino has reported that the Yankees’ interest in Rodon is “very real.”
Morosi also noted that the pitchers who have a qualifying offer attached to them – Rodon, Chris Bassitt, and Nathan Eovaldi – have remained on the market longer with teams being less willing to give up the required draft compensation compared to players without the QO.
Dec. 8, 12:30 a.m.
Longtime Boston Red Sox shortstop, Xander Bogaerts has agreed to an 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres, per multiple reports.
Earlier this offseason, the Yankees were linked to all four big free agent shortstops including Bogaerts, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa. However, with the Yankees re-signing Aaron Judge and the plethora of infielders they have on the roster, it’s unlikely they’ll be in on them.
Turner signed with the Phillies this week, leaving Swanson and Correa as the last of the high-end shortstops.
Dec. 7, 7:05 p.m.
Outfielder Masataka Yoshida and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract, according to multiple reports.
The posting fee for the Orix Buffaloes, Yoshida’s team in Japan, will be $15.4 million, putting the 29-year-olds contract over $100 million.
The Yankees were reportedly interested in Yoshida as the team had holes in their outfield that needed to be filled. The recent re-signing of Aaron Judge filled one of those holes, but the Yankees are still looking for a starting left fielder.
Dec. 6. 2:33 p.m.
SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Yankees’ interest in LHP Carlos Rodon is “very real” and “appears mutual.”
Martino reported on Monday that the Yanks were “very much in” on Rodon.
Rodon, who is entering his age-30 season, could receive five or six guaranteed years, perhaps with an average annual value around $30 million.
While the Yanks pursue Rodon, one of their competitors could be the Texas Rangers.
Despite signing Jacob deGrom to a massive five-year deal last Friday, the Rangers met with free agent Carlos Rodon the next day, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
If the Rangers sign Rodon, it will add a fourth massive contract to the ones they gave to deGrom this offseason and Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last offseason.
As far as the Yankees, if Aaron Judge lands with the San Francisco Giants or elsewhere, it could possibly increase the chances of Rodon winding up in the Bronx.
Dec. 5, 12:42 p.m.
With Justin Verlander heading to the Mets on a two-year deal, it sounds like one of the best remaining free agent starters is on the Yankees’ radar.
According to SNY MLB Insider Andy Martino, the Yankees are “very much in” on Rodon, while adding the Yankees had been out on Verlander at his price tag “for a bit.”
Now that Verlander is off the board, it’s fair to assume that the starting pitching market will begin moving very quickly, especially the top-end players in this year’s class.
Dec. 5, 11:09 a.m.
The Yankees are reportedly showing interest in outfielder Masataka Yoshida, but there’s still a chance he may not even be made available.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Yankees are among the teams interested in the 29-year-old outfielder, but he has yet to be posted by the Orix Buffaloes. The deadline for players to be posted is Dec. 15.
A left-handed hitter listed at 5-foot-8 and 187 pounds, Yoshida is a career .327/.421/.539 hitter with 133 home runs and 467 RBI in seven seasons playing for NPB.
Dec. 4, 9:15 p.m.
The Yankees are reportedly ‘very much’ in on Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds, according to Jason Mackey of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It was reported over the weekend that Reynolds requested a trade from Pittsburgh. Despite receiving an offer that would make him the highest paid Pirate in team history extension talks between the star outfielder and team reportedly have hit an “impasse.”
Reynolds would certainly become one of the most popular targets on the trade market this offseason.
Reynolds has quietly turned himself into one of the better all-around outfielders in baseball over the past couple of seasons. He’s posted a combined 136 OPS+, .861 OPS, .368 OBP, 54 doubles, 51 home runs, 12 triples, and 152 RBI over the past two seasons.
The 27-year-old certainly won’t come cheap as he is under team control until the 2025 season.
Dec. 2, 5:05 p.m.
The Philadelphia Phillies have scheduled meetings with the four top free agent shortstops, including potential Yankees target Carlos Correa before the start of the Winter Meetings, according to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark.
In addition to Correa, the Phillies will meet with Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson, all of whom the Yankees checked in on earlier this offseason.
While the order of the meetings is unknown, the Phillies appear to have zeroed in on Turner as their top choice, according to Stark, and they have been “widely viewed as the favorite to sign him.”
Turner has been linked to both the Yanks and Mets this offseason.
Stark added the Phillies are preparing to move quickly and could possibly have a star shortstop signed before the meetings end on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Dec. 1, 3:44 p.m.
Taillon’s market is “gaining steam,” reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, who notes that Taillon has impressed interested teams during his Zoom meetings with them.
Feinsand adds that Taillon is expected to get a deal larger than the four-year, $56 million contract Jon Gray signed with the Texas Rangers last offseason.
Taillon, 31, made $5.8 million last season with the Yankees.
In 32 starts in 2022, Taillon had a 3.91 ERA (3.94 FIP) and 1.12 WHIP while striking out 151 batters in 177.1 innings (7.7 per nine).
Nov. 20, 6:26 p.m.
The Yankees may have competition if they want to re-sign Jameson Taillon.
The Mets have been in contact with Taillon, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
The Yankees acquired Taillon on Jan. 24, 2021, in a five-player trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I haven’t thought about it a ton, but I definitely know I love playing here,” Taillon said after the Yankees’ four-game sweep against the Houston Astros in the ALCS last month. “They took a chance on me coming back from rehabbing elbow surgery. To get to come here — I never experienced the playoffs, never experienced a winning environment and culture. I feel like I didn’t take a day for granted showing up (and) putting the pinstripes on. I loved my time here. I would definitely love to come back.”
Nov. 19, 11:27 a.m.
The Seattle Mariners are interested in Yankees INF Gleyber Torres, reports The New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Sherman notes that the Mariners have bullpen pitchers that could be of interest to the Yanks, even after Seattle traded RHP Erik Swanson to Toronto for slugging OF Teoscar Hernandez earlier in the week.
Torres, who will turn 26 on Dec. 13, slashed .257/.310/.451 with 24 home runs, 28 doubles, and 76 RBI over 140 games in 2022.
Over five seasons in the Bronx, Torres has a career .265/.331/.455 slash line with 98 homers, 100 doubles, and 310 RBI. He earned All-Star honors as a rookie in 2018 and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. Torres was an All-Star again in 2019 and crushed a career-high 38 home runs with 90 RBI.
The Yankees agreed on a one-year, $6 million deal with Isiah Kiner-Falefa on Friday, keeping the infielder in New York for another season. It’s still possible the Yankees could try to trade IKF if they decide to keep Torres, as Sherman added the team “let executives at the GM meetings know they were open for business with their middle infielders.”
Moving either player would open the door for Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera and/or top prospect Anthony Volpe to get a larger opportunity in 2023.
Nov. 17, 9:07 p.m.
Speaking at the Covenant House Sleep Out event on Thursday night, Brian Cashman addressed the Yankees’ remaining needs on their roster and how they can improve upon them.
After signing Anthony Rizzo to a two-year deal earlier this week, New York must now shift their focus to Aaron Judge, but whether they do or don’t land the superstar slugger doesn’t change the fact that they “have more work to do.”
“We will be in play with trying to improve our team in other aspects without a doubt, not just Rizzo, not just our attempt to sign Judge,” Cashman said. “So if Judge collapses back into our fold, which we hope would be the case, but no guarantees, yeah we have more work to do, regardless.”
When asked if he’s in the market for a closer, Cashman said the team has one, but that doesn’t necessarily mean other closers around the league are not on the table.
“I’m looking to improve our bullpen, but I believe we have a closer,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that we can’t play on somebody who is a quote unquote closer because, ultimately, the more the merrier. You just want as many high-leverage guys that you can collect as you possibly can.”
Cashman added: “I feel really good about Clay Holmes being our closer, but that doesn’t preclude us from entertaining any outside players via trade or free agency if it makes us better.”
As for another quality arm that’s already in their bullpen, Cashman mentioned that Michael King just started a throwing program in Tampa and that their hope is King is ready by Opening Day.
An area that likely will not need addressing, at least according to Cashman, is the infield thanks to young prospects such as Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera.
“I think we’re all looking forward to seeing what these kids can do, competing for a spot in the spring,” Cashman said. “But that doesn’t mean they’re gonna oust who’s currently in those spots either.”
Cashman added: “Clearly, the infield is an area of strength for us, more so than probably any other aspect.”
Nov. 15, 6:15 p.m.
The Yankees have reached out and are looking at Brandon Nimmo as an outfield option, The New York Post’s Jon Heyman said on his podcast, “The Show” with Joel Sherman.
“They have reached out, at least, for Brandon Nimmo. … The Mets would obviously like to get Nimmo back, we heard there’s a majority of teams interested,” Heyman said. “I think it’s interesting, too, that the Yankees have looked at him. They are looking at two outfielders, presumably, and hopefully, that’s [Aaron] Judge and one other.”
Sherman noted that he believes the Yankees are just doing their “due diligence” by looking into Nimmo as a free agent option.
Heyman went on to discuss possible SS options for the Yanks, saying they’ve “checked in” on Xander Bogearts, Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, and likely Dansby Swanson too.
“I have heard they have checked in on the big shortstops,” Heyman said. “At least Bogaerts, Correa and Turner and presumably Swanson, though I haven’t heard that. …I don’t know if that’s a hedge in case Judge goes or if they are actually going to consider a potential run at one of the shortstops.”
Nov. 15, 9:17 a.m.
Writing that Justin Verlander seemed like a “good bet” to quickly re-sign with the Houston Astros, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that Verlander might not have re-upped “perhaps because Verlander sees the potential for lucrative opportunities with the Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers, among others.”
Verlander, who is entering his age-40 season and is about to win the 2022 AL Cy Young award, could be a replacement for Jacob deGrom if deGrom signs elsewhere.
As far as the Dodgers, Rosenthal notes that they could pursue Verlander if Tyler Anderson rejects their qualifying offer — or even if Anderson accepts.
It seems likely that Verlander could be had on a high average annual deal for one or two seasons.
Nov. 14, 8:15 p.m.
The Houston Astros have “identified” Anthony Rizzo as their No. 1 free agent target at first base, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
After he opted out of his contract, New York extended Rizzo a qualifying offer to stay for another season at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
With the elimination of most infield shifts in 2023, the left-handed-hitting Rizzo is likely to see his batting average get a boost when facing more traditional defensive alignments. The question is whether Rizzo, who will garner more interest in the market because of the removal of the shift, can get a better contract now or later.
Rosenthal notes the Astros are considering re-signing Yuli Gurriel and pursuing free agent Jose Abreu at first. And signing Rizzo would see them not only bolster the World Series-winning roster but also weaken the team they swept in the ALCS.
Nov. 10, 4:55 p.m.
The Yankees have expressed interest in Japanese OF Masataka Yoshida, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
Yoshida, 29, has a career slash line of .326/.419/.538. with 135 home runs, 164 doubles, and 474 RBI over 781 games in seven seasons.
In 2022 with the Orix Buffaloes, Yoshida slashed .335/.447/.561 with 21 homers, 28 doubles, and 88 RBI to go along with a career-high 80 walks and just 41 strikeouts at the plate.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he’s “aware of him,” while another person with the Yankees told The Post that they are interested in the lefty.
Nov. 10, 2:15 p.m.
The Yankees announced a few roster moves on Thursday afternoon, including outfielder Tim Locastro electing free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment.
The 30-year-old Ithaca College product was traded to the Yankees from Arizona in July 2021 and then re-signed with the Yankees last offseason. In 38 big-league games in 2022, Locastro slashed just .186/.239/.349 with two homers and four RBI.
Additionally, the Yankees added RHP Jhony Brito and LHP Matt Krook to the major league roster.
Nov. 9, 8:20 p.m.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman told MLB Network’s Jon Morosi that he has been “listening and engaging” on multiple trade possibilities during the GM Meetings in Las Vegas this week.
Cashman added that includes inquiries about the team’s many infielders.
With Anthony Volpe waiting in the wings, the Yankees would have to make room for him or one of the free-agent shortstops on the market. Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera have appeared in the big leagues and could have some value, while Gleyber Torres‘ name did come up in trade talks at this season’s trade deadline.
After Anthony Rizzo opted out of his contract, the confirmed infielders on the roster for the Yankees include Peraza, Cabrera, Torres, Josh Donaldson, DJ LeMahieu and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Nov. 7, 8:34 p.m.
Anthony Rizzo opted out of his 2023 contract with the Yankees and is now a free agent, according to MLB Network.
He signed a two-year, $32 million contract with the Yankees on March 17.
The deal included a $16 million player option for the 2023 season.
In 130 regular-season games this past year, the 33-year-old Rizzo slashed .224/.338/.480 with 32 home runs and 75 RBI.
Nov. 7, 10:53 a.m.
The Yankees are picking up the $15 million option on RHP Luis Severino for the 2023 season, the team announced Monday.
The move was expected, with GM Brian Cashman saying this past Friday that the team planned to exercise the option.
“I haven’t talked to anybody yet about it, but he’s a really impactful pitcher, so the answer to that would be an easy yes,” Cashman said at the Yankees’ end-of-season news conference.
Severino, who will turn 29 in February, had a 3.18 ERA (3.79 FIP) and 1.00 WHIP while striking out 112 in 102 innings in 2022, but injuries limited him to just 19 starts.
In two appearances in the 2022 postseason, Severino allowed six runs in 11 innings.
Source: Yahoo Sports