The New York Yankees being knocked out of the postseason early indicates one thing — they have weaknesses that need bolstering. Ranging from the bullpen to their defensive efficiency, multiple positions need to be considered this offseason when it comes to productivity and reliability.
On Wednesday, GM Brian Cashman admitted that catcher is one of the positions that will need extra attention this offseason, given Gary Sanchez’s lack of production and Kyle Higashioka’s minimal sample size.
“I think it’s certainly a fair question obviously the way Gary Sanchez’ season transpired, and then the way it ended with Higashioka actually starting in the postseason as many games as he did,” GM Brian Cashman said. “I think it’s one of the discussion points we’re going to have to focus on.”
However, one other spot in the infield has been problematic defensively for the Yankees. Shortstop, manned by Gleyber Torres, has seen its fair share of struggles over the past two seasons. Torres committed nine errors over 40 games this past campaign, a higher rate than 2019 when he committed 11 errors over 77 games. By looking at those statistics, Torres actually regressed defensively. He hosted just a .933 fielding percentage, it was worth -9 runs in defensive runs saved above average.
That poses a serious question for the Yankees — can I continue to rely on Torres as their long-term option?
Torres will ideally make gradual steps forward with his defense, as his offense is his primary source of value. While he did struggle this season, he finished the year with a .243 average and just three homers. This season seemed to be an anomaly offensively, and injuries held him to just 42 games.
Nonetheless, the Yankees could look for support and depth talent. Alternatively, they can move Torres back to second base and cement DJ LeMahieu at first base. That would force the Yankees to make a move on Luke Voit, potentially selling high on his talent or making him their everyday DH.
Does that pose the question, should the Yankees consider bringing back Didi Gregorius?
Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies this year, and at 30 years old, he will be looking for a new team in 2021. He had a stellar 2020 season, hitting .284 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs. He was phenomenal in all stages, and the Yankees could lock up his consistent bat and fantastic defensive qualities for the next few seasons.
While I don’t think it is likely they take this route, his bounce-back 2020 undoubtedly makes him an intriguing player. Considering their struggles with Gleyber at shortstop and his consistent inability to make routine plays, Gregorius seems awfully enticing.