The New York Yankees are in the market for a first baseman, and Athletics slugger Matt Olson might be the perfect fit.
YES Network's Jack Curry reported Tuesday that the Yankees are interested in the 27-year-old Olson and have "made inquiries," but that the two sides haven't started discussing what players might come back to the A's in a potential trade.
With Bob Melvin leaving the A's to take the managerial job with the San Diego Padres earlier this offseason, the A's could be set for another roster strip-down and rebuild. SNY's Andy Martino reported on Nov. 8, citing league sources, that Olson could be among "several A's players who will likely be on the move."
Olson is coming off the best season of his career with the A's. In 156 games in 2021, he hit .271/.371/.540 with 35 doubles, 39 homers, 111 RBI and a 5.8 bWAR. All four stats were career highs. He was named to his first AL All-Star team and was a finalist for both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger at first base this season.
Olson also had one of the best seasons for any hitter against left-handed pitchers, as he slugged 22 of his 39 homers against southpaws, which is the third-most all-time since 1961 behind Cecil Fielder (25 in 1990) and Dick Allen (25 in 1966).
Olson earned $5 million in 2021 and is arbitration-eligible in 2022 and 2023. MLB Trade Rumors projects that Olson will earn $12 million in arbitration for the 2022 MLB season.
If the A's are entering another rebuild, the Yankees could be the perfect trade partner. New York has three highly touted prospects in outfielder Jasson Dominguez and shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. It's unclear what the A's would ask for in return for Olson and what the Yankees are comfortable giving up. But Oakland's front office would do well if they could come away with one of those three high-end prospects for two years of control of a first baseman in his prime.
Olson and the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium could be a perfect match if the two teams are able to come to terms on a trade this winter.