But if the Yanks choose not to sign a top shortstop this year, and instead opt to save their budget for some Great Unknown down the line, there’s nobody on the market who you can guarantee us will eclipse Wade’s 2022 production.
Andrelton Simmons? Freddy Galvis? Jose Iglesias? It’s very, very sad, but very, very true.
Wade, theoretically, is peaking on the verge of his age-27 season. After muddling around and playing once a week (at best) for several years, he finally “put it all together” in 103 games as a utility man last season. The speedster, in only 127 at-bats, posted an OPS+ of 90, a step up from his 86 mark in 2019, his most recent full season.
He didn’t play nearly enough short for us to get a full picture based on the defensive metrics available, but he did post negative OAA marks at the position in 2019 (-1) and 2021 (-2), while somehow racking up +3 OAA in the small sample size of 2020. All this to say … the quick-twitch Wade seems like a fine shortstop who’ll fall exactly on the “average” line.
None of this is meant to make the argument that Wade would be a good or valuable starting shortstop for the 2022 Yankees. It’s just meant to argue that Simmons, Galvis and Iglesias wouldn’t be much better, if at all, and should not be thought of as “solid backup plans” in the free agency chase when the team just gave Wade away for free.
The Yankees gave away Tyler Wade to sign Andrelton Simmons or Freddy Galvis? Gotcha.
Galvis is … fine. Iglesias is … fine, though he flamed out with the dreadful Angels before being reignited by simply existing on the Red Sox roster. Simmons is … one of the worst offensive players in baseball, and his defense isn’t getting any better after 32.
The argument here isn’t that Tyler Wade should be the starting shortstop in 2022. It’s that neither should Galvis, Iglesias, or Simmons, a reality that’s seeming likelier every day. Essentially, why sign Freddy Galvis when we already had Freddy Galvis (with less power) at home?
Galvis, in 2021, posted a 91 OPS+ in 394 at-bats at the age of 31. He hasn’t posted an above-average mark since … well, ever! Check the page. He’s never done it. That’s not a stopgap. That’s a stop short.
In the past, I’ve advocated for trading for Galvis on Aug. 31 and playing him in a fill-in role down the stretch. Starting at short? Please, no thank you.
Which Iglesias are you buying into? The 82 OPS+ mark in 114 games with the Angels, or the man-on-fire .356 average from his Boston days? Everyone just gets better there. Huh. He used to be a defensive wizard, but he somehow found himself posting -0.7 WAR last season. Nope.
And Simmons hit .223 with three homers last season. 57 OPS+. 57. Not worth examining the defense. 57. Fifty. Seven. A catastrophic failure.
Also, err … uh … this?
If Wade was trotted out on Opening Day as the Yankees’ method of getting “more athletic” in the starting lineup, fans would’ve thrown pretzels.
They should do the same if any of these three Wade-like stopgaps are sacrificed to the fanbase instead of Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, or Trevor Story.