Yankees: Fast-rising shortstop prospect making himself into trade bait


Without getting themselves into an extremely complex balancing act, the Yankees have two options moving forward: roll with Gleyber Torres at shortstop for the foreseeable future or make a major upgrade this offseason, sending Torres back to second or into purgatory.

As we near this season’s midpoint, it’s still … hard to tell which direction Brian Cashman and Co. plan to proceed.

Torres has greatly improved his fielding numbers, both in terms of advanced statistics and errors, though oddly his bat has still lagged, especially in the power department. Outside of a few red-hot weeks towards the middle of May, he hasn’t exactly looked like the same player, and the addition of Corey Seager, Trevor Story or (shudders) Carlos Correa this offseason can’t be ruled out.

The one thing we think we can rule out, though, is a major midseason shakeup at the position … probably. Sorry! Really hard to predict.

With so much organizational turmoil surrounding the position, it must be really difficult to be a top Yankees prospect at the position knowing how much effort has already been sunk into Torres’ development and well aware that his replacement — if one exists — is probably going to cost $250 million.

Oswald Peraza, the Bombers’ No. 4 prospect, has likely felt this odd paradox first-hand for a while, though he’s continued to perform at a high level.

Now, a second Yankees minor-league shortstop has joined the conversation in the form of fast-riser Anthony Volpe, the team’s 2019 first-round pick (and Jack Leiter’s high school teammate, which could be a fun nugget for future Yankees-Red Sox games).

With Torres ahead of him, Peraza more established, and free agency looming, it’s hard to view his rapid rise as anything more than something that factors into the trade market … which isn’t a bad thing for the Yankees whatsoever.

Yankees prospect Anthony Volpe is rising into trade bait territory.

Love to see a Yankee on Helium Alert. Also love to mathematically figure out why it won’t work in the Bronx eventually. This one’s pretty easy.

There was a time when Volpe seemed to be a good-field, no-power option to fill out the lower minors and potentially become a roving bench piece, but the 20-year-old took the year off in 2020 and returned with aplomb. He’s dominated the headlines in recent days, posting a special 1.020 OPS on a streaking Low-A Tampa team, and swiping 16 bases with a .301 average to go with it. Volpe’s doing anything and everything to get noticed … but by whom, exactly?

The even better news, for the narrative’s sake? Volpe’s not just one of multiple Yankees prospects shining this week; he’s not even the only shortstop on the radar, as Peraza has joined him.

At a certain point, Brian Cashman will either need to empty the farm or promote these players, especially with a glut of shortstop talent developing. No Yankees team has ever won a World Series without capable defense up the middle, and perhaps Peraza and Volpe are both winning pieces for the next generation.

More likely, though, at least one of them will be fodder for a blockbuster window-lengthening move.