There might be nothing more exciting for baseball fans than making Yankees offseason predictions for 2023. There’s a lot going on with the team right now, so the Yankees’ offseason outlook is filled with plenty of questions and intriguing possibilities.
Already, there have been plenty of Yankees trade rumors, not to mention a host of Yankees free-agent targets who could end up playing in the Bronx in 2023.
Yankees offseason predictions 2023
When all is said and done, what will the Yankees do this offseason?
The goal is to put together a team that can win the World Series. But what is that going to look like? Let’s try to answer that question by making some Yankees offseason predictions for 2023.
Yankees lose Aaron Judge to Dodgers
On the surface, the Yankees can’t afford to let Aaron Judge sign with another team. At the same time, the 2022-23 free agency contract projections have the star outfielder walking away with at least $300 million, so he’s not going to come cheap.
But will the Yankees be able to afford him and fill the rest of their needs to put together a championship team in 2023? Perhaps more importantly, will the Yankees be willing to get into a bidding war, especially against a team like the Dodgers?
Year after year, the Dodgers’ offseason predictions are always lofty and involve spending a lot of money. Why wouldn’t they make a serious run at signing Judge?
Los Angeles has fallen short of championships in the last two years, so the Dodgers should be as motivated as any team to make a big splash this winter. They even cut ties with Cody Bellinger to free up a spot in their outfield, perhaps with plans to go after Judge.
When all is said and done, the Dodgers will win the bidding war for Judge, as the Yankees will wisely walk away rather than paying a crazy amount of money to keep a star player who might never match his production from 2022.
Yankees sign Carlos Correa
Even if the Yankees don’t re-sign Judge, our Yankees offseason predictions for 2023 will involve the Bronx Bombers spending big on a marquee free agent. That player will be Carlos Correa, one of four elite shortstops on the free-agent market this winter.
Correa is the second-youngest of those four shortstops and an excellent two-way player, so he’ll be a little more appealing to the Yankees than the other options. He also has a postseason pedigree from his time with the Astros. There’s also a certain poetry to the Yankees trying to overcome Houston at the top of the American League hierarchy with help from their former shortstop.
Surprisingly, the Yankees were able to make it work with Isiah Kiner-Falefa as their shortstop in 2022.
There are also internal options like Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Anthony Volpe, so the Yankees aren’t under a lot of pressure to sign a big-money shortstop. However, they must know that they need an elite shortstop to win a championship. That should be enough to push them to spend money on Correa, who is the best fit on the market this winter.
Yankees finally trade Gleyber Torres
The time has finally come for the Yankees to part ways with Gleyber Torres. For Torres, it’ll probably be a good idea to get out of the Bronx as well.
The once-promising youngster has never been able to replicate his success from 2019, yet he should still hold some value on the trade market, especially after hitting 24 home runs last season. In addition to changing things at shortstop, the Yankees should consider making a change at the keystone as well.
It shouldn’t be too hard to find a replacement for Torres. If DJ LeMahieu can stay healthy, he can play second base most of the time.
Peraza and Cabrera could also be internal candidates. They could also explore some cost-effective options on the free-agent market, including Adam Frazier, Jean Segura, and Jonathan Villar. Any of those players could add a much-needed veteran to the clubhouse, which wouldn’t hurt the Yankees either.
Yankees trade for Jake Cronenworth
Of course, the trade market is also another option for the Yankees after they dump Torres. Cronenworth could be the best option available for them. While Cronenworth has been an all-star in back-to-back seasons, the Padres might be willing to part with him and shift Ha-Seong Kim to second base when Fernando Tatis Jr. returns as San Diego’s full-time shortstop.
The Yankees just have to be smart enough to seize on the opportunity to trade for the 29-year-old Cronenworth in his prime.
Obviously, Cronenworth would fit best at second base for the Yankees. But he also has some experience at first base and shortstop. That gives him a little versatility to become a stop-gap or occasional backup at those positions should the Yankees need someone. More importantly, the Yankees would be adding a quality hitter to the back half of their lineup, as Cronenworth would surely be an upgrade over Torres.
Yankees bring back Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Ottavino
With needs on their pitching staff, we think the Yankees will turn to some familiar faces and bring back both Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Ottavino. Neither is a high-end free agent this winter, but both would be welcomed additions to the pitching staff. With the Yankees knowing both of them, they are both a safe bet.
Granted, Eovaldi has had his share of injuries in past years and shouldn’t be considered a reliable frontline at this point in his career. However, he’s posted an ERA under 4.00 in four of the last five seasons. When he’s healthy, he should be effective.
As for Ottavino, he had a rough 2020 campaign in the Bronx but posted a 2.06 ERA for the Mets in 2022. Even in his late 30s, Ottavino is capable of being a reliable late-game reliever, which he showed last season. That should make him an excellent fit to help the Yankees’ bullpen.