The New York Yankees have various avenues they can travel down this upcoming off-season at the shortstop position. With a desperate need to fill the spot with a quality player, general manager Brian Cashman has another busy off-season spending money correcting his team.
It is pretty disappointing that Cashman has been unable to piece together a unit capable of remaining healthy and playing consistent baseball, but his home run centric mentality has bitten him in the butt at times. Nonetheless, there are a few contact specialists that could help provide some much-needed discipline and diversity in the batting order.
However, there is one player who represents the most lucrative option of the bunch, but the Yankees’ hatred might run too deep for them to even consider his services.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post believes that the Yankees’ hate for the Astros and their sign-stealing will deter them from pursuing Carlos Correa in free agency:
Even if the Yankees pay no attention to Correa, they still have plenty of options to replace the failed experiment at shortstop in Gleyber Torres. He will likely move back to his more comfortable spot at second-base and force DJ LeMahieu to either find a home on the hot corner or first base, which could spell the end of Anthony Rizzo. Luke Voit could still serve in a DH and reserve first-base role.
Two shortstops could make the most sense for the Yankees:
Seager is having himself a solid season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are currently in the NLCS. As a lefty batter, he would contribute a bit of diversity to the Yankees’ batting order.
As a former first-round pick back in 2012, Seager has two All-Star appearances to his name and is currently 27-years-old. He hit an impressive .306 this season with 16 homers and 57 RBIs.
Clearly, he contributes far more as a contact hitter, earning 67 singles, 22 doubles, and three triples this year. He struck out just 66 times over 353 at-bats. His 16.1% strikeout rate might be the lowest on the Yankees’ starting team, and he also contributed an impressive 11.7% walk rate this year, indicating more patience at the plate.
Defensively, Seager hosts a .975 fielding percentage, giving up just eight errors over 803 innings this year. Comparably, Torres picked up 18 errors over 915.2 innings, representing a far higher clip.
There is no question that Seager offers more than Torres as a contact hitter and defensive weapon, and given his acumen, the Yankees will likely pursue him this off-season.
Another strong alternative is Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays. Semien is capable of playing shortstop, second base, and third base, and as a right-handed batter — he would likely fit into the Yankees mold a bit better.
Semien hit 45 homers this year in his first All-Star caliber season. He posted a .265 batting average and .873 OPS. He also contributed 102 RBIs. Semien has played in all 162 games twice in the past three years, minus the shortened Covid season.
Given Semienâ€˜s impeccable health and evident power, the Yankees will likely be highly attracted to the 30-year-old slugger. He signed a one-year, $18 million deal this past off-season, but that price tag could jump even further given his unbelievable numbers.
Defensively, Marcus posted a .984 fielding percentage with eight errors, playing the majority of his games at second base. Traditionally, he is a shortstop, spending six seasons at the position with the Oakland Athletics before making the transition. Semien has never dipped below a .970 fielding percentage, showcasing heâ€™s a quality defender at the most important infield position.