As you probably know by now, Manny Machado visited Yankee Stadium yesterday. It remains to be seen if he will ink a deal with the Bombers, but they sure could use him. The outlook of the infield completely changed when Didi Gregorius had Tommy John surgery. Even if you consider his injury through an optimistic lens, the Yankees can’t expect him back until June at the earliest. It’s time to plan for the worst, and hope for the best—and that means finding infield help. Here is a look at the Yankees’ various shortstop options, ranked from best to worst.
There’s no question that Machado is the best hitting shortstop on the market. His defense at his original position may leave something to be desired, but his bat would make up for it. The best part is that he could slide over to third base when Gregorius is healthy (let Miguel Andujar DH), and that would do a lot to shore up the infield defensively. Yes, he is the most expensive option and we could debate forever about whether he’s worth it. At the end of the day, though, he would make the biggest positive impact on the lineup.
The next best option would be to slide Gleyber Torres over to shortstop. Of course, that would open up a hole at second base. Fortunately, there are plenty of decent second basemen available. Jed Lowrie and Daniel Murphy could help fulfill the Yankees’ veteran presence quota. DJ LeMahieu and Brian Dozier aren’t too bad either.
If the Bombers want to leave Torres at second, they could opt to sign one of the non-Machado shortstops who are available. From a defensive standpoint, a reunion with the light-hitting Adeiny Hechavarria would make sense. Never forget his nifty grab from the Wild Card game. Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias are also available, though neither is very interesting.
This is where things start to get a bit dicey. Something has likely gone very wrong if the Yankees are forced to stoop to one of these options, the first of which would be to slide Torres to shortstop, and run Tyler Wade out to second base every day. They gave Wade an extended look last year, and he wasn’t able to get anything going at the plate. Not to mention that an infield with Andujar, Torres, and Wade sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
The other day I floated the idea of the Yankees signing Troy Tulowitzki. There is no harm in signing him, bringing him to spring training, and seeing if he has anything left in the tank. The Yankees even attended his workout yesterday. It would be a mistake for this to be their only plan for replacing Gregorius though.
Finally, another awful idea would be a reunion with Neil Walker. We’ve already seen that movie and it didn’t have a happy ending.
What do you think they should do about shortstop if Machado ends up elsewhere?