The New York Yankees have an influx of infielders to deal with this spring, which should be ironed out by a position battle at shortstop. Currently, the team has Oswald Peraza, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Anthony Volpe competing, but manager Aaron Boone indicated that all three will be playing other positions as well.
“All of our shortstops will play more than one position this spring.”
There are plenty of questions left to be answered on this Yankee team, but they have all the talent in the world to compete for a championship this year, despite being knocked out of the playoffs routinely by the Houston Astros.
General manager Brian Cashman is still looking to make upgrades but is financially strapped, given the team doesn’t want to go above the third luxury tax threshold.
Nonetheless, that could lead to Cashman trading a few assets — two infielders stand out as primary candidates.
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Two infielders the Yankees could move:
1.) Gleyber Torres
The Yankees have no need to trade Gleyber Torres right now, but he could become expendable if Anthony Volpe reaches the majors within the next few months.
Torres is considered a top-10 second baseman in the game, but at 26 years old and coming off a solid 2022 season, selling high on his value may be advisable. The Yankees have control over him until 2025, but the longer they wait, the less value he holds in a prospective trade. Having hit .257 with a .310 OBP, including 24 homers and 76 RBIs last year, the Yankees could get something decent in return, whether it be starting pitching support or a solid bullpen arm. They could always include him in a bigger trade for a left fielder, which may be more beneficial.
For the time being, Torres is cemented as the team’s starting second baseman, but Boone did express a vague perspective when detailing his role. Specifically, Gleyber would play an “everyday-ish” role. They still need to find playing time for DJ LeMahieu, especially if Josh Donaldson is already considered the starting third baseman. Ultimately, Volpe’s progression is the determining factor regarding Torres’s spot on the team, so once he gets closer to making the jump, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman began making calls.
2.) Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Kiner-Falefa will have a fair opportunity to win the shortstop job, but Peraza has a slight advantage, given his youth and untapped potential. IKF signed a $6 million deal to stick around for the 2023 season, but at 27 years old, the Yankees may be willing to part ways just to reallocate that money elsewhere. IKF hit .261 with a .314 OBP last season, including four homers and 40 RBIs with 22 stolen bases. He’s a good contact hitter but displayed inconsistencies as a defender, eventually being benched in the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins.
IKF could serve as a utility piece at shortstop and third, but having LeMahieu as the rover seems like a more productive strategy. Moving on from the former Texas Ranger would simply be to recoup his salary since he may only return a low-level prospecting, given he’s under contract for just one year.