TAMPA — Here are some quick facts, via sources with direct knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking, about what Sunday night’s big trade means:
— The Yanks were intent all offseason on improving their offense in a big way, and acquiring Josh Donaldson certainly accomplishes that. It is often Brian Cashman’s style to allow speculation about other players (in this case, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager etc.) while honing in on a move that we in the media do not sniff. Here he’s done it again.
— The Yankees are not ruling out a pursuit of a first baseman of the caliber of Freddie Freeman. They would still like to get more lefthanded, and first base is the place to do it. A Matt Olson trade is still an option. A reunion with free agent Anthony Rizzo remains in play. The Yanks also thought that Luke Voit reported to camp in excellent shape Sunday, and can play D.J. LeMahieu at first.
— The team was always leaning toward a stopgap shortstop who could serve until top prospect Anthony Volpe was ready, and had their eye on Isiah Kiner-Falefa specifically. Correa never seemed a serious possibility, at least after a brief November flirtation.
— By paying the remainder of Josh Donaldson’s contract ($50 million over two years), the team was able to obtain Ben Rortvedt, a 24-year-old catcher with a reputation as a strong defender. The Yanks targeted him in the trade and consider themselves set with Rortvedt and Kyle Higashioka as the catching tandem.
— Parting with Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez was basically inevitable. Both were diminishing assets, and Sanchez is set to become a free agent after this year.
— There is no question that Donaldson and Gerrit Cole will have to patch up their public spat over MLB’s sticky stuff ban last year, when Donaldson called out Cole by name. A person close to Cole says that this genuinely bothered him.
original source: Here’s what the big Yankees trade means, and what they will do next