2. Explore Marcus Semien Deal
Whether the Yanks shop for a new shortstop will depend on the price they will have to pay and the extent to which they believe Gleyber Torres can improve in both facets of the game after his underwhelming 2020 and 2021.
While the Bombers have three excellent minor league shortstop prospects (Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Trey Sweeney), none are ready to play major league baseball in 2022.
Thus, the Yanks should be open to exploring the shortstop free agent market to see who might be available for the short term (allowing them to promote from within over the next couple years) or the long term (allowing them to spend big bucks, lock down the position, and then trade from their surplus in the farm system). The top three candidates to consider are Marcus Semien, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager.
Semien is my first choice. He’s versatile and can handle either second base or shortstop. Thus far, he’s had the best year of the anticipated free-agent shortstops. This late bloomer has produced a .269/.335/.532 slash line with 34 doubles, 32 home runs, and 77 RBI in 2021. He also has stolen 13 bases in 14 attempts, and his fielding has been rock solid. Plus, he’s durable and rarely lands on the IL. He has a 5.9 WAR and will be 31 next month.
Correa, who will turn 27 next month and has a 5.6 WAR, is a close second preference for me. Like Semien, he, too, is having a terrific year. We should expect him to receive a lot of interest during the offseason, especially since he said this is his final season with the Astros.
My third pick is Seager, who will turn 28 next April and has a 1.3 WAR. He had a broken hand and missed 65 games this year. However, he was the NLCS and World Series MVP last year. He also is a valuable clutch hitter. Then again, the Dodgers might be keen on retaining him to pair him with Trea Turner. That’d keep their offense as lethal as ever. He won’t be cheap as a Scott Boras client, either.
What about Trevor Story and Javier Baez? The home-away splits for Story should give GM Brian Cashman pause, and Baez lacks discipline at the plate. We’d pass on those guys.