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The Yankees offseason continues with impactful shortstop decision

The Yankees have multiple routes to go at one of the positions of focus from last year’s squad: shortstop.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have checked off two big boxes on their offseason to-do list: re-signing Anthony Rizzo and, most importantly, re-signing Aaron Judge. Now, they can move on to other positions, such as starting pitcher, where they are reportedly taking a long hard look at Carlos Rodón, and shortstop, which has a source of controversy since Isiah Kiner-Falefa claimed the starting job last season.

Yankees fans want someone who will make a significant impact at one of the most critical positions in the sport. With Trea Turner headed to the Philadelphia Phillies on an 11-year contract, and Xander Bogaerts also securing an 11-year deal with the San Diego Padres, the options for big-time players at the position are starting to dwindle. And according to Michael Kay on The Michael Kay Show, the Yankees are not in on arguably the best shortstop available, Carlos Correa.

As much as this might irritate plenty of the Yankees fanbase, it’s hard to call it a surprise, as it falls in line with the strategy the team put forth last offseason, when it had first spurned Correa and acquired Kiner-Falefa. It also showcases confidence in the team’s young guns, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. We’ve already heard from Hal Steinbrenner in an interview with the YES Network that he plans to have those two players in the middle infield for the 2023 MLB season. However, we won’t know until manager Aaron Boone comes through on that.

After starting IKF the entire season, in the face of lackluster showings at the plate and in the field, there is reasonable concern that Boone could revert to that strategy after the team signed Kiner-Falefa to a one-year deal.

There is another option where the Yankees pursue a shortstop on the trade market. My colleague Esteban Rivera wrote a piece earlier (which I will link here) about a potential trade for Fernando Tatis Jr. While what is circulating is just speculation at this point, it may not be out of the question that Brian Cashman may have something bigger up his sleeve. Tatis Jr. is one of the most talented shortstops on the planet, and his career 13.6 fWAR and 153 wRC+ throughout 273 career games jump off the page, especially for a player so young. The elephant in the room is the apparent behavioral issues and, you know, the whole PED thing, with Tatis Jr. currently serving a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.

The idea of trading for Tatis Jr. feels far-fetched, and has significant pros and cons. Yes, they’re trading for a talented player we know can produce at the highest levels. However, it doesn’t matter if you give up useful players and the incoming player is never on the field. So while the younger guys may be more of a wild card in on-field production, I don’t think the Yankees would have to worry about their off-field conduct.

In the end, I think letting the younger players come in and prove themselves is the right move. No matter what the Yankees brass wants to say about Kiner-Falefa, he was a stopgap, and in the worst-case scenario that he is the starter next season, he will be that as well. He’s not a long-term solution; everyone watching the games already knows that.

The Yankees still have choices to make, and there are still very impactful players to choose from on the shortstop market. From a fan’s perspective, what do you think they should do? Should they stay with their internal options, play their young guns, and see what they can bring to the table? Or should Cashman pursue a more known entity with verifiable proof they can produce at the absolute highest levels?


What do you think the Yankees should do at shortstop?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Go with an option from the organization
    (1377 votes)
  • 14%
    Go with an outside option
    (238 votes)
1615 votes total Vote Now