What Makes the Yankees’ Shortstop Decision Tough
By Derek McAdam
November 4, 2021
There is no doubt that Brian Cashman is in a tough spot deciding on who will play shortstop for the Yankees in 2022. Here are all the possible options that may play out this offseason.
Cashman Signs a Free Agent, Whether It’s Short or Long-Term
The shortstop class is loaded with free agent shortstops this offseason, including Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Corey Seager. Brandon Crawford and Marcus Semien are also options that are thrown into the mix, so there are plenty of names that the Yankees could potentially sign.
Most of these names are going to receive long-term contracts that may potentially be nine figures worth. The question is if the Yankees are willing to commit to a free agent shortstop for that long and that much, knowing they currently have two players with nine-figure deals with a potential third in Aaron Judge.
Cashman may look to Crawford if he wants to have a short-term shortstop until one of the two prospects comes up, but that may still be a tough grab.
The Yankees stick with Gio Urshela
Although the Yankees like Urshela in his natural position at third base, they may ultimately decide to keep him at shortstop and shift the infield around. The question would then become who would take over at third base.
This scenario is probably the most unlikely, but there is a possibility that it may happen, especially if the Yankees believe one of their two shortstop prospects can come up later in the season.
Trade for a Shortstop
Although there are not many appealing options at shortstop that the Yankees can potentially trade for, Cashman has gone this route several times instead of looking at the free-agent market.
This would probably be the most unlikely option to take place since the biggest shortstop names are all free agents. But, there is always the possibility with Cashman at the helm.
While these are the three options that the Yankees will have this offseason regarding a shortstop, they have a big decision to make, and it won’t be easy either way they go.
With what the rumors are saying, the shortstop the Yankees are most likely to sign is Seager. While he would bring a great left-handed bat to Yankee Stadium, he is going to want a long-term contract.
Do the Yankees take that risk and give him the money in hopes that he can become trade bait later on in the contract once Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza come up? The Yankees would hope that they can use him as trade bait, which would mean that one of the prospects was working out well at the Major League level.
The Yankees are also in a position in which they need to win now. Their “Big 3” of Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole are all in their prime years. Judge is in his final year of arbitration and it cannot be assumed that he will be with the Yankees past the 2022 season.
Keeping Urshela at shortstop is an option, but then comes the decision on who plays third base. Is it DJ LeMahieu who would take over being the “mostly” everyday third baseman, Tyler Wade or perhaps someone else?
What the Yankees cannot do is keep their trust in Gleyber Torres at shortstop, and it seems unlikely that they will do that. After all, the worst decision they could have made was putting him at second base to stun his development at shortstop. But that’s not what this article is about.