10 Positions in 10 Weeks: Analyzing Shortstop
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In Part 5 of a 10-week series, I will analyze the shortstop position and who could be the everyday player for the Yankees in 2021.
For the second straight season, Gleyber Torres was the everyday starter at shortstop, and it did not come easily. His fielding continues to be a problem as he finished the 2020 season with nine errors in 40 games at shortstop. In his short three-year career with the Yankees, he has committed 46 errors, which leads the team over the past three seasons.
At the plate, it was also a bit of a down-season for Torres. In 160 plate appearances, he hit .243 with three home runs and 16 RBIs with an OPS of .724. He did manage to be on pace for more walks and fewer strikeouts than the 2019 season, which could indicate his plate discipline has improved.
Torres will be 24 years old for the 2021 season and will be under contract through the 2024 season, and the Yankee organization seems to have a lot of confidence in him going forward, in both the field and at the plate.
The other Yankee that commanded the shortstop position this past season was Tyler Wade, who played in 22 games when Torres was out. He did not commit a single error at shortstop and had 23 putouts.
Although he did set a career-high with three home runs in the 2020 season, Wade has not been known for his abilities at the plate. Although he is one of the fastest Yankees, he has not been known to get on base. This has been a major problem since the Yankees lack speed on the bases.
Wade appeared in all but seven games during the 2020 season, which shows that Aaron Boone has a lot of trust in him. He is not, by any means, an everyday player, but can come in games during the 7th or 8th innings to finish while also giving other veterans days off every now and then.
But the big question is do the Yankees go out and trade for Francisco Lindor, who has one year left on his contract? It has been reported that the Cleveland Indians are trying to trade before Opening Day, and several teams could be in the mix for him.
The circumstances for trading for Lindor will probably involve trading Luke Voit or letting D.J. LeMahieu walk in free agency. There also has to be mutual interest in getting the four-time All-Star extended long-term, who will be 28 years old when he is slated to become a free agent and will command a large deal.
My prediction is that the Yankees do not end up trading for Lindor, for several reasons. First, the number of prospects that will have to head to Cleveland will be plentiful, and Brian Cashman might believe that it is too much of an asking price.
Second, I believe the Yankees would rather bring back LeMahieu for a cheaper price than what Lindor may command.
Both of these are just my predictions on what I believe will end up happening, but there is no truth to it. Lindor will make this team better and would be a great pickup piece if LeMahieu moves on from the Yankees.
As for now, I predict that the shortstop position will remain the same for the 2021 season.