The Pros and Cons of a Stopgap Shortstop
By Derek McAdam
November 19, 2021
This is a Take-Two article for me as I originally wrote about how Justin Verlander would be a perfect fit for the Yankees, only to be signed less than an hour later by the Astros after I completed the article.
While the Yankees were rumored to be in play for a top shortstop this offseason to replace Gleyber Torres, the latest reports say that the Yankees are not looking to sign a shortstop to a long-term contract.
This means Yankee targets such as Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Marcus Semien may be completely out of the picture, and new targets such as Brandon Crawford, Jose Iglesias and Andrelton Simmons may be the main focus.
The Yankees currently have Anthony Volpe (No. 15 MLB Prospect) and Oswald Peraza (No. 58 MLB Prospect) in their farm system as shortstops, both of which are projected to be in the Majors in 2023.
Here are some of the pros and cons of having a stopgap shortstop on the Yankee squad in 2022.
Pro: Gives Time for Prospects to Develop
While Peraza is set to begin the 2022 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Volpe will only be in High-A with Hudson Valley. Both prospects still need plenty of time to develop and will most likely not see action with the big club this upcoming season.
Signing any of the three veteran players not only gives the Yankees an upgrade at defense from Torres but mostly gives them time to further analyze their two shortstop prospects going into the 2023 season.
Con: Shows Commitment to the Future Prospects
This statement is a current con that may turn out to be an excellent decision in the long term. Brian Cashman has been very reluctant to let go of his prospects and will not be getting rid of either one of these two unless the offer is too good to refuse.
But they are still only prospects. It is a given that Seager, Correa and Semien can play baseball very well. The Yankees will be taking a huge gamble that one of these two shortstops will work out. Luckily, they have two chances to work with.
Pro: Yankees Can Spend Money at Another Position
If the Yankees are not tying themselves up to a shortstop for at least four or five years, they can look at another area to spend the money on.
Pitching is an area of need, so they may decide to target Robbie Ray or another high-profile pitcher to help Gerrit Cole in the rotation. The Yankees have also been keeping tabs on Freddie Freeman, although it is likely he will return to Atlanta.
They may also decide not to give a long-term deal to any current free agent and give Aaron Judge his contract extension now. It does not seem like a likely option, but it is one to consider.
Con: Yankees Will Have to Shift the Infield Around
While this may not be the worst decision ever, the Yankees will have to make some moves if they decide to sign a shortstop, even if it’s just for one season. Currently, the infield roster consists of Torres, Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, Rougned Odor, Luke Voit and Tyler Wade.
The infield is already crowded as it is, which could mean that someone gets traded or released. Torres and Urshela may be the ideal candidates for a trade while Odor may be cut to free up a roster spot.
There is no real answer on what Cashman has up his sleeve, but we may get these answers in the next couple of weeks.