Yankees: 3 2021 DJ LeMahieu alternatives we won’t really be happy with

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Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

2. Andrelton Simmons

Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop for the Yankees is tempting, but solves nothing long-term.

Andrelton Simmons, a true generational defender, would be an intriguing addition to the Yankees in a vacuum, and would represent easily the greatest shortstop glove in franchise history.

For the purposes of this argument, he’s our stand-in for any one- or two-year shortstop move; that’d push Gleyber Torres back to second, which remains the Yanks’ dirty little secret in this entire chase.

But Simmons’ bat, which peaked at the ages of 27 and 28 in 2017 and ’18 in Los Angeles, has regressed the past few years; he posted a 78 OPS+ in his most recent full season in 2019, and opted out of 2020 once it became clear the Angels would not make the postseason. The Yankees need an injection of defense wherever they can get it, but they’d have to ask themselves if they’d be satisfied if it came with a low-OBP, backsliding bat. Simmons, over the past few years, has become nearly a black hole in the lineup — is that really going to tempt the Yanks to move off their best contact bat?

And, for what it’s worth, Simmons is a career .261 hitter with runners in scoring position in 1,035 career plate appearances.

If the Yankees were trying to patch over a hole or cover for, say, a retiring Derek Jeter, Simmons would be a fantastic short-term solution. But paying a 31-year-old instead of a 32-year-old familiar player with a better bat, and cutting off the long-term development of Gleyber Torres at the position, which you’re theoretically committed to (and learned very little about last year)? This creates more questions.