If New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius isn’t re-signed this offseason, finding his replacement could be difficult. Gregorius is an average hitter with an above-average glove .979 fielding percentage last season coming off a significant injury. In 2018, he committed just six errors over 132 games with a .987 fielding percentage.
The Yankees shortstop is a quality option, and his lefty pull at the plate is dangerous during home games featuring the short right porch. However, Didi wasn’t the same this past season, hitting .238 over 82 games and 324 at-bats. This was the lowest he has hit since 2014. A decline in offensive production could give general manager Brian Cashman the green light to explore other options.
Here are three shortstops the New York Yankees could look into:
1.) Jose Iglesias
The former Detroit Tiger shortstop played one season with the Reds this season, hitting .288 with 11 homers. He’s not much of a slugger, which could be a turnoff for the Yankees, but he’s a high contact hitter that struck out far less than Gregorius in comparison.
Iglesias struck out 70 times last season compared to Didi’s 53, but he also played in 64 more games. Also, his defense statistics were phenomenal, as he was the best in that category for the Reds last season. Many were baffled that his name was on the Gold Glove finalist award. Iglesias is an equal defender to Didi if not better, which makes him an even more appealing option for Cashman.
He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Reds this season, but will likely gain a pretty penny on the open market. He’s a great option if the New York Yankees are willing to make the change.
2.) Elvis Andrus
The 31-year-old Andrus is another reliable target for the Yanks, after hitting .275 over 600 at-bats. His consistent health makes him even more attractive, but he’s been with the Texas Rangers for the entirety of his 11-year career. The Yankees would need to pry him away from his career-team, which could be difficult, but he’s another solid offensive producer that could replicate Gregorius’ stats with ease.
His fielding is on par with Didi’s, so the swap would be near identical. The Yankees shortstop’s home run totals have made him more attractive, considering analytics. His double-digit long balls for four consecutive years has allowed him to make an impact, despite having a low batting average. The days of BA are slowly coming to an end, as run production with homers seems to be the more prevalent statistic.
3.) Gleyber Torres
The Yankees could elect to stay close to home with their next shortstop, and Torres has always been the obvious choice to succeed Gregorius. Having played at second-base last season, Torres is an established player at this point in his young career and has continued to develop.
With DJ LeMahieu on the books for 2020, Torres could slide into the shortstop position, and LeMahieu can play his natural second-base spot. Having played 77 games at SS, Torres didn’t post the best defensive numbers. A .961 fielding percentage and nine errors tell most of the story. He must increase his efficiency to be considered a long-term solution for Gregorius. Still, he’s undoubtedly the most intriguing player to fill the role, especially since he’s already on the books.