2. Andrelton Simmons as Stopgap
So Brian Cashman wants to spend, right? That’s all we’ve heard, yes?
If that mandate somehow remains the same as the big free agents bypass the Yankees for other lengthy pacts (Seager, Correa, Story…), New York’s braintrust had better not wimp out, sell us on Anthony Volpe/Oswald Peraza, and spend their allotted shortstop money on one or two years of someone who can’t hit.
For us, that’s Andrelton Simmons, who’s somehow managed to be both a completely anonymous player as his defensive skills have slipped a notch or two and an agitator, for his publicly anti-vaccination stance.
Once a defensive wizard whose unparalleled magic could carry a sub-100 OPS+ season due to his sheer brilliance in the field, Simmons is now a complete liability at the plate, and the Yankees’ lineup isn’t good enough to accept him as one of their own and shield him. With just two regulars in the everyday order in 2021 who posted above-average offensive marks (Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, famous guys), the Yanks cannot stomach a Simmons season like last year, featuring a 57 OPS+. He was sub-Ramiro Peña. That’s not papering over any hole for any length of time.
If you believe in the shortstops you have coming in your team’s minor-league pipeline, that’s fantastic. We do, too. But don’t allow that faith to guide you into a patchwork move like Simmons for two years and $16 million, especially since Simmons only creates another problem, and would be less offensively valuable than Tyler Wade.