First, let me say that if the New York Yankees can finally re-sign DJ LeMahieu, this story will be irrelevant because they, at that point, will not take on Trevor Story’s $18 million contract. Should the Yankees not sign DJ, it would free up money for a tremendous upgrade at shortstop. The Yankees have had success with Colorado Rockies players in the past, particularly and most recently DJ LeMahieu.
The Colorado Rockies have made it known that they will listen for offers from both Story and third baseman Nolan Arenado. Other than Story’s large contract, he will become a free agent after the 2022 season. For the Yankees to acquire the talented shortstop, they will have to give up something they don’t want to give up. The Yankees might have to give up a Clarke Schmidt, Adam Ottavino, the most underrated prospect for the Yankees Antony Volpe, or some combination of the three. The Yankees have no use for Arenado.
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden named Volpe one of the most underrated prospects in baseball with this statement:
“Volpe can flat-out hit with a short, compact swing, loud sweet-spot contact, above-average exit velocity and the ability to hit line drives from foul pole to foul pole. He can hit high velocity, breaking balls and off-speed pitches as well as any teenager in the minor leagues. Defensively, he’s an above-average defender with plus range to both sides, soft hands, good first-step quickness and an average quick-release arm from the hole. He’s an above-average base runner and has a chance to be the next long-term shortstop for the Yankees. He could also end up being a top prospect included in a blockbuster trade for a star player like Trevor Story or Nolan Arenado if the Yankees decide to go that route.”
So why would the Yankees want to make this trade? It’s pretty simple, without LeMahieu, the Yankees will need a second baseman, and Tyler Wade or Thairo Estrada just won’t cut it and would be a tremendous downgrade from DJ. The obvious answer is to move Gleyber Torres to his natural position at second base, leaving a hole at short. Trevor Story could fill that position with excellent defense and with a hot bat. The New York Mets just upgraded their shortstop with Francisco Lindor; many compare Story to Lindor, who is generally regarded as the best shortstop in baseball.
Trevor Story is one of the few players that had an excellent campaign during the 2020 shortened season. He hit 11 home runs and had a batting average of .289 in 59 games played. Story also would not have to be an injury concern for the Yankees as he has played in at least 145 games per season in his last four seasons. So the Yankees would get a Silver Slugger player that stays on the field, hits for contact and power while providing All-Star quality defense at shortstop.
As I said, the New York Yankees won’t make this trade if they sign LeMahieu, but if they can’t, this is one trade they should at least kick the tires on.