The Yankees are digging themselves a beautiful hole at shortstop

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Rejecting Didi Gregorius’ qualifying offer was the right thing to do for the New York Yankees, as general manager Brian Cashman decided to take a more cost-effective route in re-securing the shortstop position.

There’s still a chance the Bombers re-sign Gregorius, but the Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly been interested in his services. While Didi was one of the leaders in the locker room and well-liked by the fan-base, his monetary hit is ultimately too high.

With Cashman letting the veteran shortstop walk in free agency, he’s effectively digging himself a beautiful hole filled with potential and spoils. Gleyber Torres is the de-fact option to fill the shortstop position, as he played 73 total contests at the spot last season, earning a .961 fielding percentage with 11 errors. Torres is a more suitable second-baseman at the point, but the plan was always for him to transition to shortstop where he would stay planted for the remainder of his expected lengthy career.

Considering Derek Jeter locked down the position for 20 years, Torres can hope to replicate even half of that elongated success. That would be the ideal scenario for a Yankees team looking to move beyond the Gregorius era and into one of pure youth at impact positions.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was a guest on Mike Francesa’s radio show, stating:

“He showed, clearly, in the absence of Didi last year that we could be a really effective franchise with him at short and DJ LeMahieu at second. It played out well, and that will be part of the evaluation, but is that the best that we should be doing as we move forward? Or is it with Didi at short? Or is it with some other alternative that’s a potential trade or a free agent signing that we haven’t been talking about? Those are the things we have to evaluate and discuss.”

Torres can only get better defensively at shortstop, making him the obvious answer here, and when factoring in his stellar hitting abilities, this should be a no-brainer for Cashman. The only alternative would include a trade for Francisco Lindor or another top-notch shortstop, where Torres can remain at second base, and DJ LeMahieu can fill the first base position.