The New York Yankees are heading into the off-season in desperate need of a new shortstop. With the Gleyber Torres experiment coming to an end, the front office will need to find a supplement, as they utilized starting third baseman Gio Urshela at the spot last year for the second half.
They could carry a lineup that starts DJ LeMahieu at first base, letting Anthony Rizzo walk in free agency, but he was an integral part of the team’s success toward the end of the season, despite being knocked out of the playoffs in the Wild Card game. Theoretically, LeMahieu could start at first, giving Gleyber the second base spot, Urshela at shortstop, and leaving third base as the lone opening.
Alternatively, they could shift LeMahieu to third base permanently and retain Rizzo as a starting first baseman for the foreseeable future. Considering Rizzo hit .248 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs this season, the Yankees could view him as a potential force moving forward. He only spent half the year with the Yankees, if not much less, so a full season in pinstripes could do him well.
The Yankees could go big at SS:
There is a scenario where the Yankees want to spend big money on a free agent shortstop, and there are several big names on the market. Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor story, Javier Baez, and Freddy Galvis will all be available, but it is unlikely the Bombers open up their checkbook on a monster contract.
Typically, you’d see the team target a player like Carlos Correa in the past, but he’s likely going to earn a massive contract after hitting .279 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs this season at just 26-years-old.
Preferably, the team wants to hold the position over until youngster Anthony Volpe is ready to take on the major leagues. In single A-ball with Tampa, Volpe earned 199 at-bats this season, tallying 12 homers and hitting .302. His abilities seem to be phenomenal, and he’s also a strong fielder capable of playing at multiple positions, with his priority being SS. He committed just six errors over 313.2 innings this season in Tampa.
Volpe is likely one or two seasons away from making his MLB debut, so the Yankees only need a short-term solution. Moving Urshela over to shortstop and putting DJ at third base might be a solid move, but they would hate to move Gio from his natural spot where he dominates defensively.