Upon first glance, it would be natural to expect the Yankees to be active in exploring this winter’s deep class of free agent shortstops. Once they bit the bullet and officially moved Gleyber Torres off shortstop, their need at the position became explicit. Prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza have impressed enough, however, that the Yanks could choose a short-term bridge option as they await further development for their youngsters, suggests Andy Martino of SNY.tv.
Andrelton Simmons might fit the bill as a short-term option. The Yankees tried to acquire Simmons at the trade deadline, Martino notes, and they could be again as a fill-in with defensive upside that might complement Torres’ skill-set up the middle. Yankee fans might dream a little bigger, considering Simmons’ .223/.283/.274 line across 451 plate appearances with the Twins.
Martino also suggests Marcus Semien as a potential short-term option, given his now-proven ability to play second base, should they want to make room for Volpe or Peraza when they’re ready. There figures to be quite a bit more competition for Semien’s services after another MVP-caliber year. The Yankees, of course, have the means to compete with anyone, and they are one of a choice few teams with a clear need at shortstop.
In terms of their potential competition, the Tigers could upgrade shortstop, making Niko Goodrum a super-utility player as they look to turn the page on their rebuild. The Nationals can do the same with Alcides Escobar, and they have some money to spend should they want to an immediate replacement for Trea Turner. The Orioles don’t have a clear long-term solution at short, but they might not be ready to spend significantly in free agency.
There are plenty of other teams that could keep a star shortstop from simply falling in the Yankees’ lap. The Blue Jays will need to replace Semien if they don’t bring him back. The Angels and A’s could both stand to upgrade. Thinking outside the box a little, the Phillies could push for a shortstop, given Didi Gregorius’ down year and their clear desire to compete. There might even be more teams looking for a short-term option like Simmons than there are clubs with surefire intentions to pursue the Correa/Seager/Story/Baez/Semien/Taylor class of free agent. Regardless, the Yankees figure to be players somewhere in the market this winter.