Sherman: Yankees Not Enticed By Japanese Shortstop Toritani
According to a recent report by the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, the New York Yankees will continue looking at options to replace retired shortstop Derek Jeter. One option that the Bombers won’t be giving much credence to, is 33-year-old Japanese shortstop Takashi Toritani. And why would they? He’s on the wrong side of 30, and even though he’s been described as strong defensive shortstop, his bat simply isn’t what the Yankees need or want at this point in time.
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If the Yankees wanted a strong defender with no bat, they’d cease their pursuit of Jeter’s replacement now, and name incumbent reserve infielder Brendan Ryan the starter and put the questions to rest. They won’t however, and the team will continue looking at every other viable option, including bringing back Stephen Drew on a shorter deal, exploring trade options such as Troy Tulowitzki, Elvis Andrus, Alexei Ramirez and Jose Reyes, along with free agents Jed Lowrie and Hanley Ramirez.
The answer of who will replace Jeter isn’t an obvious one. While Toritani might be an attractive option to a team who doesn’t need offensive output from their shortstop, the Yankees aren’t one of them. In 11 seasons in Japan, Toritani has 120 career home runs, 677 runs driven in, and is a .285 hitter. That’s fine for Japan, but that most likely translates to an offensive struggle for a player who is middle aged, and has most likely peaked athletically.