The Yankees infield may go through a bit of a shift next season with Didi Gregorius likely departing in free agency. In the second year of a two-year, $24 million deal, DJ LeMahieu will slot into second-base, his priority position. Having him as an established presence in the infield at his defensive peak will only allow him to perform at a higher level.
The Yankees can finally set a foundation in the infield:
In 2019, LeMahieu moved all around the infield, playing every position before finally settling in at first base to close out the postseason. This allowed Gleyber Torres to play at second, taking him away from the position general manager Brian Cashman has always envision him at.
However, with Didi on his way out, the reality of established Torres at shortstop is finally happening. Luckily, Torres already has ample experience at the position, considerin he supplemented the loss of Gregorius as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
“He showed, clearly, in the absence of Didi last year that we could be a really effective franchise with him at short andDJ 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.”
While Didi was out of the lineup, Torres played 75 games at shortstop, and he played phenomenal for the most part, despite his defense struggling at times. Practice makes perfect, meaning experience at the position will allow him to alleviate any severe concerns for the future.
Torres batted .289 with 25 homers and a .954 OPS last year while Gregorius only hit .238. Making the switch and plugging LeMahieu in at second base should improve the team as a whole.