Yankees facing big problem as top two stop-gap options gone from shortstop market

isiah kiner-falefa, andrelton simmons, yankees

It is no secret that the New York Yankees desperately need a new shortstop to feature during the 2022 season. The consensus was that the Yankees would settle for a stopgap option during the lockout while Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza climbed the farm system.

However, with free agency opening back up, reports indicated that Carlos Correa was still on their priority list, presenting an interesting decision for general manager Brian Cashman and Co.

Do the Yankees remain committed to their youth and sign a player on a two-year contract, or do they swing for the fences and go with the monster deal worth over $300 million?

Based on how the market has already unfolded, the Yankees are already down two of their best stopgap options.

Yankees have already lost their top two stop-gap options at shortstop:

Isiah Kiner-Falefa:

The Yankees were connected to Texas Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the lockout as a potential solution to their shortstop void. Defensively, Falefa is a fantastic shortstop that would’ve offered them above-average play in that category.

However, his offensive capabilities were limited, especially when it comes to his slugging. He posted a .271 average last season with eight homers and 53 RBIs, showcasing decent contact hitting. His offensive attributes don’t exactly fit the Yankees preferred strengths, which is why they likely didn’t jump into the trade market looking to acquire him. The Minnesota Twins ended up trading for Kiner-Falefa, giving up catcher Mitch Garver and another player in the process.

Andrelton Simmons:

The cheapest stopgap option for the Yankees on the free-agent market would’ve been Andrelton Simmons, who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with incentives to join the Chicago Cubs.

Simmons and the Yankees would’ve been a stretch connection, to begin with, given his serious offensive limitations. Simmons has hit double-digit homers in the past, over three years ago when he smashed 11 back in 2018. His average dipped to .223 this past season, hitting three homers over 451 plate appearances. At 32 years old, Simmons seems to have taken a big dip in production, so the Yankees passing on him was a good decision.

However, with two of the top short-term options off the market, that leaves Carlos Correa and Trevor Story as the primary free agents to consider. If I were to put my money on it, I would imagine a Yankees will grab one of those two players, whether it be Correa on a massive deal or Story on a short-term but big-money contract.

What will the New York Yankees do first once the hot stove is live?

brian cashman, yankees

The news that Yankees fans have been waiting to hear for nearly 100 days dropped today. MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a new CBA that will end the lockout and the hot stove will officially go live later this evening once the deal is ratified.

There needed to be 20 votes out of 38 from player reps and the executive committee for the deal to go through. All eight executive members voted no and four teams dissented including the New York Yankees. However, 26 team reps voted yes and baseball is officially back.

I don’t even think you could classify what’s about to happen as the hot stove. This is going to be like the surface of the sun. MLB Spring Training is set to begin in just a few days and there are over 300 free agents that are still searching for a home including some notable Yankees targets.

Will the Yankees make a splash?

For the Yankees, the needs of the team haven’t changed since the beginning of the offseason. The lack of action from the bombers before the lockout means they still have their full plate of agenda items to take care of in a very short amount of time.

Obvious priority is the shortstop position. It’s been clear for a while now that the Yanks are not going to have Gleyber Torres manning shortstop in 2022. The Yankees engaged in conversations with Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, and Andelton Simmons before the lockout.

All of those players are still available to New York. Now, Simmons is the least sexy move the Yanks could make, but it might be a deal that comes together considering the talent in the farm system at SS. It will also depend on what happens with a few other positions including first base.

The Yankees are said to have serious interest in both Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson. Both would cost a lot in very different ways. I think Olson is more likely between those two, but I also wouldn’t rule out the Yanks reuniting with Anthony Rizzo after his time in the Bronx.

To me, Luke Voit is still a goner. I just can’t see New York bringing him back after last year which means a trade is likely going to go down soon with him. Does he bring back pitching or is he part of a deal that brings in Olson? Time will tell.

Pitching is always a need, but I think the Yankees will focus on suring up the infield right away. There’s no time to waste so I expect some deals to come together quickly. Don’t roll your eyes but a Brett Gardner extension might be one of the first dominos. Buckle up Yankees fans, it’s about to get hot.

New York Yankees Twists and Turns: Will Cashman go for defense or offense in shortstop selection?

The New York Yankees haven’t made any progress with their next shortstop due to the lockout. It all started when the Yankees admitted that their experiment with Gleyber Torres had failed at short and permanently moved him to second base at the end of the season. That move left the Yankees with several players at the position for the remainder of the season and no clear shortstop for 2022.

General Manager Brian Cashman made it clear even before the end of the World Series that his top priority was to get a star-like shortstop to fill the position. But before the ink had dried on that thought, they wavered and said they might look to the stopgap avenue waiting for prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to assume the position.

Meanwhile, a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the players came and went when a new CBA couldn’t be agreed upon by the December 1 deadline. That caused the Yankees to be left out in the dark as other teams made significant moves to improve their teams before MLB instituted a lockdown, forbidding any major league transactions.

The Yankees basically sat back and watched the action while doing nothing to fill the holes in the team. They saw Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, two prime shortstops go to the Texas Rangers. They also saw starting pitcher Robbie Ray go to the Seattle Mariners, Kevin Gausman go to Toronto Blue Jays, and Eduardo Rodriguez go to the Detroit Tigers. Another priority for the Yankees is to land a No. 2 starting pitcher behind ace Gerrit Cole.

Now the Yankees are left to select from a reduced pool of players to fill their needs. They won’t be able to start that process until a new CBA can be reached. That process has seen only one meeting since the deadline. Today the owner and players will have their first face-to-face meeting with the players presenting their counter-proposal after rejecting the owner’s proposal.

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman still has not shown his hand on whether he will continue to go the route of a star player to fill the shortstop position or go with a lesser player on a short contract. Here is a look at those players still available to the Yankees.

Carlos Correa:

If the Yankees still want to make a splash by hiring free-agent star shortstop Carlos Correa they will have to deal with Correa and high profile agent Scott Boris who will be looking for a huge contract mirroring that given to Corey Seager by the Rangers. He got $325 million over ten years. That will be more than the Yankee’s want on the books, and an Aaron Judge extension looming. Being the youngest shortstop on the market (27), Correa will give Boris even more bargaining power. It would be a big surprise if the Yankees go this route.

Trevor Story:

Free-agent Trevor Story, age 29, is a former Colorado Rockie and is the second-best shortstop still on the market. Story has been of interest to the Yankees before when they tried to trade for him before the trade deadline this past season. The Rockies and Yankees couldn’t agree then and likely won’t now. Brian Hock of MLB.com has said the Yankees have since soured on Story and likely won’t pursue him now. Story, a five-tool player would be a significant upgrade for the Yankees and not as costly as Correa.

Andrelton Simmons:

Next in line is Andrelton Simmons, one of the best defensive shortstops of the last several years. But there is a big problem here, he is old (32). Add to that, he is coming off a dismal season with a slash line of .223/.283/.274, something that can’t be attractive to the Yankees regardless of his glove prowess. Only a short contract at a low price could entice the Yankees to move on Simmons.

Other options:

If you discount those three shortstops, there isn’t much left for the Yankees. Some say they will do nothing and move Gio Urshela to short, where he was serviceable for 28 games last season. Other analysts see the Yankees going the short gap avenue trading for players like Nick Ahmed of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Harold Castro of the Tigers, Isiah Kiner-Falefa of the Rangers, Kevin Newman of the Pirates, or Willie Adames of the Brewers. Besides those players, there are a host of low-cost players that Cashman could get creative with.

One thing is for sure when the owners and players can come to an agreement, the Yankees are going to have to pounce quickly with spring training less than a month away so that they can concentrate on their several other needs.

 

Report: Yankees check in on under-the-radar shortstop free agent

andrelton simmons, yankees

It is becoming more probable that the New York Yankees settle for a second-tier shortstop free agent, allowing Corey Seager and Carlos Correa to sign elsewhere. General manager Brian Cashman still has a solid amount of money to spend, but the team recently checked in on under-the-radar free agent Andrelton Simmons.

Simmons is a 32-year-old righty who stands at 6’2″ and 195 pounds. Having played with Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Minnesota in the past, he’s a consistent defensive shortstop that doesn’t exactly fit the Yankees’ mold on offense. With elite defensive attributes, recording a .976 fielding percentage with 12 errors this past season over 1091.2 innings, the Bombers would love to have his capabilities to prevent more mistakes at a position of vulnerability.

After watching Gleyber Torres the past few seasons, skipper Aaron Boone would feel far more confident having Simmons feature at SS. His top defensive season came back in 2015 when he recorded a .988 fielding percentage over 1,279 innings. He has earned four Gold Glove awards and been a top-15 MVP candidate on three occasions.

However, he’s not deficient in the offensive category, despite a down season with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Simmons posted a .223 average with three homers and 31 RBIs. Simmons is not known for his slugging abilities, which is only one year removed from a .297 batting average in 2020 during the Covid season.

In 2018, when he featured in 146 games, he posted a .292 average with 11 homers and 75 RBIs, just one of three seasons in which he’s had double-digit homers. However, he featured a 7.3% strikeout rate in that season, which is simply incredible. Simmons is more of a contact hitter, something the Yankees desperately need in their ranks to provide a bit more diversity. During the 2018 campaign, he recorded 120 singles, 26 doubles, and five triples, showcasing fantastic speed and efficiency.

While the former Twin isn’t exactly what the Yankees are looking for in terms of a long-term solution, he could serve as a stopgap as they wait on Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to reach the majors.

New York Yankees Analysis: What could happen if Steinbrenner opens up the purse strings?

trevor bauer, New York Yankees

Today let’s take a look at a New York Yankee fan’s dreamworld where Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman decide they see a great opportunity to reach the World Series now that their greatest opposition, the Tampa Bay Rays seem not to be as strong a team now that pitcher Chalie Morton has walked to the Atlanta Braves and their ace Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres. Please make no mistake about it that the Rays are a smart team and will still be a potent opponent, so the Yankees will have to have a very talented team in the 2021 season to take advantage of the opportunity that lies ahead.

In this scenario, the New York Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu and cave to his demands for a five-year contract. Assuming they do that, they then have to address the starting pitching. In this scenario, we suggest that Steinbrenner will allow a payroll similar to the Yankees 2020 level, going over the luxury tax threshold.

The Yankees have a base salary on the books at about $133 million. Should they spend to 2020 levels, it gives them just over $100 million to spend, less LeMahieu’s signing leaves them $75-80 million to spend.

The New York Yankees starting pitching situation is not quite as dire as some assume it is. They have leading the rotation, ace Gerrit Cole, they have the returning Domingo German, 2019’s best Yankee pitcher, and before a mid-season, Luis Severino’s return who’s 2017 2018 record was 33-14. Besides those three, they could bring back Masahiro Tanaka and let the promising young up and coming pitchers to fight it out for the fifth spot on the rotation. The only problem with this look is that German, after not pitching for a year, has been beaten up in Winter ball, and the Yankees have no way of knowing how Severino will pitch after not pitching for two years.

Under this scenario, the Yankees will not take a chance and hire a true number two pitcher in Trevor Bauer. A Cole/Bauer one-two would be devastating to opponents. The Yankees would also re-sign Masahiro Tanaka.  The Yankees have questions in the bullpen; they have the undependable relief of Adam Ottavino and losing Tommy Kahnle to the Dodgers. To correct this, the Yankees will hire Liam Hendriks and Aaron Loop. Hendriks had the best ERA out of the bullpen last season, and Loop will provide a left-hand mix and match reliever. The Yankees will also stop depending on Aroldis Chapman as their closer considering he has given up the winning run in the postseason in the past two years. Instead, they will look at the lineup ahead and choose either Chapman or Britton using analytics.

The Yankees will hire Andrelton Simmons as their new shortstop replacing the deficient Gleyber Torres and allowing him to go back to second base, his normal position. That will put the Yankees to use the returning DJ LeMahieu just as the Dodgers would have should they be able to sign him, as a player that will play all infield positions and DH to keep him in the everyday lineup. He will also provide across the board insurance in case of injuries.

The Yankees will sign Yadier Molina to alternate with Gary Sanchez as the everyday catcher. Kyle Higashio will be the backup catcher and the personal catcher of ace Gerrit Cole. Molina will provide a veteran presence that may aid Sanchez in his long term development.

With all of these changes, the New York Yankees will be hard to beat and have the best chance since 2009, the last time they won a World Series. If there is a year to spend, this is it. The “Baby Boomers” are aging, and this may be their last chance to take advantage of their talents if the Yankees choose to do nothing. Okay, so what will all these mentioned changes cost the Yankees? $233 million, seven million than last year.

Here’s the breakdown: Base salary $133 million, DJ LeMahieu ($25M), Trevor Bauer ($25M), Masahiro Tanaka ($12M), Andrelton Simmons ($12M), Yadier Molina ($10M), arbitration ($10M), Hendriks ($5M), and Loup ($1M). Of course, these figures are not exact but are in line with probable amounts these players can expect, and the Yankees still have $7 million in wiggle room and still stay below last year’s payroll. They could also still sign Brett Gardner for outfield insurance. The only serious question here is if they can sign Bauer on a one-year contract after announcing he is looking for a long-term deal, something the Yankees will not commit to. It is possible the Yankees could work out an inflated one year deal like the $25 million mentioned to allow him to wait for a better deal after 2021. With a team built like this one, he might think getting a World Series ring is worth the deal.

The bottom line is that it is not likely any of this will happen even though the New York Yankees have the financial wherewithal to accomplish all of these deals. I previously wrote an article stating why this is the year for the Yankees to spend. You can find that article here.

EmpireSportsMedia, com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.

 

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: How will the Yankees spend if they can’t sign DJ LeMahieu?

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

It’s an understatement to say that the New York Yankees have been very quiet two months into the offseason. The Yankees have been stagnant in the free agency for their many needs. Why? Because the Yankees feel with so little money to spend that they can’t really do anything significant until they find out if they can re-sign batting champ DJ LeMahieu.

At the end of the season Yankees, fans were sad that LeMahieu refused the only qualifying offer that the Yankees issued. The Yankees fans gained excitement with the news that the Yankees were negotiating for the star’s return. Every day a new story came out about the negotiations. But now, two months later and the negotiations seemingly further apart, writers are getting tired of writing about it and fans tired of reading the stalemate.

As the negotiations dragged on, it seems that DJ LeMahieu has gotten more adamant that he wants a 5-year contract to protect his security through age 38, when he will probably retire from baseball. The New York Yankees don’t want to take the risk that LeMahieu will be the player he has been the last two years in the final two years of a five-year contract. The Yankees would like to see a three-year contract for about $75 million. So the sides are $50 million apart, and that’s not chicken feed.

Many fans are wishing that the Yankees would give DJ a final offer and if he doesn’t accept it, move on to fill the other needs of the club. With those that have left the team through free agency, it appears the Yankees have taken $74 million off their 2020 payroll. That may seem like a bundle of money, but it’s not. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has, as of this point, ordered general manager Brian Steinbrenner to stay below the luxury tax threshold. If that’s the case, the Yankees only have $44 million to spend. If they sign LeMahieu, they will only have $19 million left in the cash box to spend on their other needs.

Don’t expect the Yankees to sign any front-line players, either hitters or pitchers, with that little money. If the Yankees decide to try to resign Masahiro Tanaka, feeling that for the money, there are no better pitchers out there, that will take another $10-12 million off the available money leaving $7-9 million. If you include a reunion with veteran Brett Gardner for outfield backup, the Yankees only have a few million to upgrade a bullpen that direly needs help.

It would be irresponsible for me not to add that everything could change between now and spring training. Two major scenarios are in play. DJ doesn’t resign, giving the Yankee over $40 million to spend. The other is that Steinbrenner could relent and allow Cashman to spend more while staying under last year’s payroll.

If the New York Yankees have $40 million to spend or if Hal allows Cash to spend more, they could pick up a number two-like starting pitcher. (Ordorizzi $12 million, Tanaka 10-12 million, Kluber $7 million). Bullpen (Hendriks $5 million, Joakim Soria $5 million, Aaron Loup $1 million. SS (Didi Gregorius $10-12 million, Andrelton Simmons $10-12 million.

If I was a betting man, which I’m not, I would guess that the New York Yankees will ultimately sign LeMahieu for four years and 100 million dollars, which would still be a bargain for a player of this caliber. The Yankees will add Tanaka or a mid-rotation guy to the pitching rotation and find a cheap mid-tier arm for the bullpen. They will do nothing with Torres at short and nothing more than signing a low-level backup catcher to the minor league team so that if Sanchez or Higashioka become injured, they will have someone qualified to call up.

In addition to these expenditures, the Yankees do have to give raises to their arbitration-eligible players their 2021 raises. Keep in mind that the Yankees do have the financial wherewithal of going over that tax threshold if they chose to take advantage of a golden opportunity this season when the Tampa Bay Rays seem not to be a threat they were in 2020.

 

The New York Yankees are keeping tabs on Andrelton Simmons

andrelton simmons, yankees

The New York Yankees are locked into a tug-of-war with their MVP candidate, DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu’s camp has been insisting on a guaranteed fifth year from New York to get a deal done.

However, the Yankees have maintained from the beginning that they’re comfortable at four years. When the offseason really started kicking into gear, the Yankees and LeMahieu’s camp were making progress on a potential deal.

Both sides appeared to be comfortable with the money aspect. The talks had all the makings of talks that would result in a deal sooner than later. However, that is where everything hit a wall.

Talks started out well between the two sides. However, we’ve reached stalemate now between the two sides over the length of the contract. The Yankees started at three years, but they are only willing to go four as of right now.

LeMahieu’s side has been consistent with wanting at least five years from the very beginning. The Yankees have inched closer to that and it appears that they are willing to do four guaranteed with a potential option on the fifth year. However, that’s not going to cut it.

As of now, there will be no deal until the Yankees give in on the fifth year. Of course, LeMahieu and his camp could always come back to the Yankees four year offer. However, as each days goes on, the Blue Jays and Dodgers becoming increasingly optimistic about their chances.

The Yankees fallback option

With all of this up in the air, the New York Yankees have maintained contact with the platinum glove winning shortstop, Andrelton Simmons. Simmons is primarily a glove-first shortstop, however, he’s shown that he’s more than capable of hitting for average.

The bombers are reportedly interested in bringing Simmons in on a one-year deal. If LeMahieu goes to Toronto or Los Angeles, bringing Simmons in for one year makes a lot of sense for New York.

Simmons would instantly improve the defense of the team. He’s one of the best in baseball and signing him would allow Gleyber Torres to move back to second base where he is clearly more comfortable.

A one-year deal for Simmons would also give the Yankees more money to play with to bolster their starting rotation. If they resign LeMahieu, they are going to be very limited on their options given what they’ve said about their finances.

Also, there are a ton of elite shortstops hitting the market after next season. If they sign Simmons to a one-year deal, they could reexamine the market for more elite options after the 2021 season.

Resigning LeMahieu remains the Yankees top priority. However, Cashman has been looking into a number of different options if the talks don’t lead to a deal. If DJLM signs elsewhere, Andrelton Simmons is one of the leading options for the Yankees.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The elite DJ LeMahieu to the Blue Jays for $68 million?

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees have many free agents this offseason, but DJ LeMahieu is one the Yankees will be sure to want to resign. He is the only free agent to receive a qualifying offer. The offer was $18.9 million for a one year contract. This is an offer the DJ will most assuredly pass on in favor of testing the free-agent market for his services.

The website MLBTradeRumors forecast the landing spot for the top 50 players on the open market. It has LeMahieu heading north of the border for a four-year, $68 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. My guess is that the Yankees will top that dollar amount to keep LeMahieu in pinstripes. However, nothing is difinite. If LeMahieu wants too much the Yankees will be willing to let him walk in this cash strapped offseason.

LeMahieu is probably the most watched 2nd baseman in baseball. He was the Batting title leader this season and the first player in baseball to capture the title in both leagues. The Gold Glove player will be wanted by many teams as he is more than capable to play first, second, or third base and at the same time lead a team in hitting and on base percentage.

Also of interest from the MLB Trades/Rumors forcast is that Masahiro Tanaka will land back with the New York Yankees for a three-year contract for $13 million a year. Tanaka was not offered a qualifying offer after the World Series, but if any free agent pitcher was to re-sign with the Yankees, most thought it would be Masahiro Tanaka, but at a deep discount from what he earned this year.

The same forcast shows Andrelton Simmons – Yankees.  One year, $12MM.  Simmons, 31, carries a reputation as the best defensive shortstop in baseball.  In eight-plus seasons with the Braves and Angels, Simmons has won the Gold Glove four times.  Looking at 2013-19, Simmons absolutely laps the field in defensive metrics like UZR and DRS not only among shortstops but all players, regardless of position.

Also of interest to Yankees fans, the forcast shows ex-Yankee Didi Gregorius going with Reds. James Paxton going with the White Sox for a year at $10M. J.A. Happ going with the Seattle Mariners at $6M a drastic demotion from the $17M he earned with the Yankees this year. Also of interest is the forcast shows J.T. Realmuto and Corey Kluber going to the cross-town Mets.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Gleyber Torres debacle and how the Yankees may fix it

The New York Yankees, after losing in the postseason again, have a bevy of issues to solve going into a long cold winter offseason. The main one is its pitching rotation. With the return of Luis Severino before the All-Star break and the potential return of Domingo German, the problem of losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, the problem may not be as bad as it seems, but don’t get fooled; it is a problem.

The Yankees offered no qualifying offers to any of the free-agent pitchers. But the money is on the return of Masahiro Tanaka if Tanaka is willing to take a shorter contract and one that is deeply discounted from what he earned this year. That leaves their big-money pitcher, Gerrit Cole, Tanaka, and Jordan Montgomery.  Obviously, they have two holes to fill. Right or wrong, it seems the Yankees will plug in Deivi Garcia as the only prospect they feel that is comfortably ready to take the big stage at Yankee Stadium.

So, the reality is that the New York Yankees need an additional premium arm for the rotation. If the Yankees are willing to spend big in this cash short offseason, they will go after a Corey Kluber or Charlie Morton type pitcher. Trevor Bauer would be the perfect match for Yankees Stadium, but it is doubtful they will spend for Bauer.

A somewhat less important issue to solve is what to do with Gleyber Torres at shortstop. Torres had a far from a stellar season at short. At one point in the season, he had the most errors in baseball. After a season and a half at the position, the Yankees realize that he may not get better and have to find a way to keep the potential Yankee star in the lineup. In 2019 he had the most home runs (38) of any Yankee. He didn’t play all that well at the plate either this past season, but that is likely more of a blip in the young man’s career that he will surely recover from.

The Yankees believe to solve that problem, they need to move him back to his normal position at second base. To do that, they need to find a place for superstar DJ LeMahieu. That’s really not that hard to do because he is the same caliber player at first and third base. The only problem with that is Giancarlo Stanton is the permanent DH. What do you do with either 2020 home run leader Luke Voit or the second-best contact hitter in Gio Urshela?

This is why I have called this a debacle. There is no way easy way to solve the problem. I suggested even before the postseason that the Yankees convert DJ into a utility player that can give a day off to every infielder and act as a DH, keeping him in the lineup at least five days a week. The easy solution is if DJ wants more money than the Yankees want to pay him, and he walks; that’s a solution the Yankees surely don’t want.

Leaving that debacle behind for a moment, if the New York Yankees move Torres to second base, they now have no shortstop. The easy solution to that problem brings Francisco Lindor to the Stadium, he is the best shortstop in baseball today and would add a switch hitter to the lineup, but there is a cost, a huge cost, that the Yankees may not be willing to pay. Another option is to bring back Didi Gregorius, who had a bounceback season with the Phillies. With the remarks he has made during this past season, that is probably not a good idea, although he was a fan favorite.

There are more cost-effective options; Andrelton Simmons or Tommy La Stella. Simmons, a 31-year-old Curacao native, is an excellent shortstop free agent from the Los Angeles Angels. He is a solid player who hit .297 in 2020. He is not a home run hitter, but a contact hitter that might be attractive to the Yankees. Simmons is a four-time Gold Glover and a Platinum Glove Award winner.

Tommy LaStella is not the defender that Simmons is, but is an interesting replacement for Torres. His batting average was slightly less than Simmons, but unlike Simmons, he mixes his hits with home runs. He would also provide the Yankees with a left-hand bat at the plate they sorely need. He had a very good .819 OPS with the Athletics in 2020. He is also more versatile than Simmons as he is a second baseman as well.

This is going to be a long offseason that will most likely see changes for many teams, including the New York Yankees, happen later than soon, in what is expected to be a very slow but active hot stove.

Could Andrelton Simmons fit with New York Yankees if team is unable to re-sign DJ LeMahieu?

New York Yankees

One of the New York Yankees highest priorities this offseason is re-signing all-star second-baseman DJ LeMahieu. His two-year, $24 million deal has expired, making him one of the most desirable players on the free-agent market.

That being said, there’s a chance that the Yankees won’t be able to re-sign him this offseason. If they can’t, they’ll need to find a middle-infielder to replace him.

One candidate to replace LeMahieu could be veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

Simmons, 31, made his MLB debut at just 22 years old for the Atlanta Braves. In just his first full season, Simmons won a Gold Glove as well as the Platinum Glove, and placed in the top-15 in MVP voting. Simmons would win another Gold Glove in his second season with Atlanta. He spent through 2015 with the Braves before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels prior to the 2016 season.

With the Angels, he’d finish in the top-15 of MVP voting and win Gold Gloves two more times. Through his nine-year career, Simmons has a .269 average with a .696 OPS and a 91 OPS+. His career WAR stands at 36.6.

Simmons could be a good replacement for LeMahieu for a few reasons. One is that the team could get Simmons for cheaper than they’d likely be able to get LeMahieu. Simmons could be signed for no more than $10 million, being that he’s an average hitter and an elite defender.

Another advantage of signing Simmons would be that it’ll allow Gleyber Torres to shift back to second-base. Torres has struggled defensively at shortstop, and is a much better defender at second.

The Yankees would ideally like to re-sign DJ LeMahieu on a multi-year deal. However, if they are unable to do so, signing Andrelton Simmons could be a good alternate option.