The New York Yankees have not entered a rebuilding phase but will undoubtedly tweak the roster in 2024. Filling the gaps in outfielder and third base would be the first priority whilst deciding on the future of declining veterans. It’s also important to note that the Bombers have as many as 17 arbitration-eligible players awaiting their fate.
The Yankees have to non-tender once they feel they no longer fit into the roster construction. Meanwhile, a renowned Yankee insider recently dropped a major hint on the Bombers’ off-season plans. He says that the front office is open to listen to offers for two key catchers as the depth now has started to overflow.
Yankees Signalling Teams Of Putting Kyle Higashioka And Ben Rortvedt On Trade Block!
As Jose Trevino exited the 2023 season mid-way to undergo wrist injury, the New York Yankees were lucky enough to have depth in Ben Rortvedt. However, when Ben struggled, they called up prospect Austin Wells, who made a strong case for himself to feature on the 2024 season opening day roster. Thus, with Trevino likely to get fit by the time of the 2024 season, the Yanks have decided to put either or both Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt on the trade block. Andy Martino of SNY says that the Bombers have been signaling other teams to make both catchers available for trade. However, Martino firmly believes that only one of the two would get dealt away as the team still needs one extra catcher in the hood in case Wells underperforms next year.
Kyle Higashioka is an arbitration-eligible player. His salary is estimated to range around $2.3M. While it’s pea size for a franchise like the Yankees, it’s unlikely they will allocate it to a declining veteran like Higashioka. The catcher has remained the team’s longest-tenured player. However, the decent decline on the plate has become a major issue, especially after a season like 2023. Ben Rortvedt, on the other hand, has been decent behind the plate. However, in the batter’s box, Rortvedt has tanked each year. In 171 plate appearances across three seasons, he posted a .146 batting average. Also, he played his last option year in 2023. This means that the Yankees cannot send him back to minors. Ben has to be DFA’d or put on waivers before signing him back into a minor league contract.
Yanks Solidify Stance On Juan Soto’s Trade Possibility!
Meanwhile, the Yankees took a major step towards turning Juan Soto’s blockbuster trade into reality. As per Andy Martino of SNY, the Bombers and Padres have held preliminary talks about the availability of Soto. However, while the Yanks seem serious about landing the generational outfielder, prospects like Jasson Dominguez and Oswald Peraza are off the table.
The Yankees are instead willing to offer Everson Pereira and Estevan Florial in exchange. A rival official even urged the Bombers to consider offering veteran Anthony Rizzo. He explained that since the Padres are not in a rebuilding phase, a veteran would interest them relatively more compared to prospects. Also, the Padres general manager confirmed that they are open to every possibility with regard to Soto’s future.