June 18, 2024

The New York Yankees are off to a tremendous start in 2024. They have yet to see Gerrit Cole or DJ LeMahieu start a game. Despite this, they are 33-17 and will be aiming to prepare for a postseason run at the deadline.

Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer identified the Yankees as a potential destination for three-time All-Star Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Toronto Blue Jays are 21-26 and have plenty of trade candidates. Guerrero finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2021. He has appeared in the All-Star Game three years in a row. His price in a trade will not be low.

“Let’s assume that, even if coughing up cash was part of the deal, Toronto wouldn’t part with its slugging first baseman without getting at least one top-100 type back,” Rymer said.

The Blue Jays could be willing to trade Bo Bichette and Guerrero in order to develop for the future.

“I don’t think they’re opposed to it,” an unnamed executive told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. “They’ve spoken with teams about it. The requests were outrageous, but I believe they will try to retool a lot, and employing those folks to collect components may be one method to do it.”

Yankees’ First Base Situation

The Yankees’ current first baseman is Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo is a three-time All-Star. He’s also won a Silver Slugger, four Gold Gloves, and a Platinum Glove. According to Brendan Kuty of The Athletic, the Yankees may be willing to part ways with him this offseason. He even said that DJ LeMahieu may become the team’s first baseman next year.

“He’ll play next season at age 35, a year younger than LeMahieu. But everything this offseason must be viewed through the prism of Soto. “If the Yankees believe that saving money at first base and shifting it to Soto is a higher priority, all bets are off,” wrote Kuty.

Rizzo hit only.244 last season despite missing the majority of the season due to injuries. Rizzo was diagnosed with “post-concussion syndrome, which the club believes stems from a May 28 collision with the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr.,” according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch in an August 3 piece.

This season, Rizzo started slowly, batting.227/.306/.284 with one home run in his first 23 games. However, he has recently improved his swing. In his last 30 games, he has slashed.268/.328/.455.

“Rizzo has been hot and cold all season, so if Rizzo turns cold, you can see Guerrero in pinstripes. Even yet, dealing with an AL East opponent is unlikely to be Toronto’s best scenario, according to Rymer.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Would Not be Cheap

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wins arbitration case |  CP24.com

 

Guerrero won his arbitration hearing ahead of the 2024 season. His $19.9 million salary was the largest ever awarded in a hearing-based lawsuit. Guerrero will not be less expensive than Rizzo. However, he is still arbitration eligible and will not be a free agent until 2026.

Guerrero has a.286 hitting average, but his home run total has dropped over the last three seasons. In 2024, he had an OPS of just.775. He might, however, reverse the situation and return to his original role.

“It’s not hard to picture a team overpaying for Guerrero. His swing remains deadly, whether measured by his 99th percentile hard-hit rate or raw bat speed. His fault is that he frequently fails to square up pitches, which the right hitting instructor might correct,” Rymer observed.

The Yankees’ objective this offseason will be to keep Juan Soto in the Bronx. However, if Rizzo isn’t producing enough, the Yankees may consider trading for a guy such as Guerrero. They could trade Guerrero in the winter if they don’t want to pay him, which would interfere with their hopes to keep Soto.

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