By the day, it seems as if the Yankees will settle for a stopgap solution at shortstop instead of spending big money on a player like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story.
Story could fit the bill on a shorter deal if general manager Brian Cashman is willing to spend the money on him, but several other avenues offer a lower AAV until Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
Three shortstops the Yankees could trade for:
1.) Matt Chapman
In a prospective deal, the Yankees were recently connected to Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman is traditionally a third baseman but could make the transition to shortstop until his contract expires in 2024. He’s set to earn just $9.5 million this upcoming season and will hit arbitration in 2023 for the third time.
Chapman actually fits the bill quite nicely for the Bombers, having hit double-digit homers every season of his career, including 27 this past year, posting a .210 batting average. The Yankees have ignored BA in the past, and that trend is likely to go unchanged. With short porches in Yankee stadium, Chapman offers Gold Glove material and solid power, making him an intriguing prospect.
2.) Elvis Andrus
If a deal for Chapman didn’t work out between the Athletics and Yankees, Elvis Andrus might prick the ears of Cashman. Andrus is preparing to earn $15 million this upcoming season as he hits toward the end of an eight-year, $120 million deal. Andrus also has a 2023 vesting option, so the Yankees would have to deal with the remainder of his contract, which will expire in two years anyway, a good stopgap solution.
Oakland is trying to get as much money off the books as possible, and with Andrus hitting. 243 last season, he’s not exactly reaching the potential they expected. In addition, he’s only hit six homers over the past two seasons.
Based on Elvis‘s statistics, the Yankees likely wouldn’t be interested in his services, especially at his price point. However, he is a solid contact hitter with athleticism, stealing 31 bases in 2019 and 12 this past year over 146 games. Father time is undoubtedly taking its toll at 33 years old, but he is still a plus defender who they can rely on every day.
3.) Nick Ahmed
Another name that has bubbled to the surface in recent days is Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Considering Arizona lost 110 games this past season, it seems as if they will be sellers this off-season when the lockout ends.
Ahmed is an interesting player, preparing to start the second half of a four-year, $32.5 million deal he signed in 2020. Ahmed is preparing to earn $7.75 million in base salary this upcoming season.
The Diamondbacks shortstop posted a .221 average with five homers and 38 RBIs this past year over 129 games. He settles somewhere in the middle between Chapman and Andrus as a batter, showcasing power in the past with 19 homers in 2019, but struggling in that category the past two years.
Ahmed is a plus defender as well but struggles in the batter’s box, something the Yankee simply can’t sustain if they really want to upgrade the shortstop position.
Statistically, Chapman seems to be a more productive target if the Yankees are looking for a true stopgap until one of their young players is ready to take over.