The New York Yankees have a ways to go before their 2022 roster is set, but after a week of all the wrong rumors, fans are already feeling pessimistic about the final group.
Far too quickly, an offseason overwhelmed by Seager and Correa and Verlander has become a discussion of how the Yankees can “wait out the shortstop market” and still get better for ’22, pouncing only when it suits them. We went from the one-yard line of a Matt Olson trade to realizing our quarterback was Tim Boyle and we were backed up deep in our own territory. Even Anthony Volpe’s name, which once signified only the promise of a brighter future, now sounds like shorthand for, “We’re not spending this year. But look at this shiny greeting card that says ‘2025’!”
This is all to say: We’re frustrated about nothing, but thanks to all the leaks, that frustration has already generated a number of worst-case scenarios.
Or, more specifically, personnel disasters that’d kill our hopes and dreams long before the lockout even has a chance to.
Believe us. We’ve perused the list of available free agents over and over again. We’ve checked out the possible trade overpays. We’ve sweated through shirts thinking about Stephen Ridings or Ron Marinaccio getting poached in the Rule 5 Draft, free of charge (which is luckily now impossible). There are many different avenues the Yankees could follow in an effort to ruin their offseason, most of which involve not paying the right people enough money while pivoting to something far worse.
They could also, theoretically, drop a bucket of cash on Jorge Soler, citing only the World Series. They probably won’t, though, and are far more likely to make these three gaffes that’ll have you thinking, “Season over” … subconsciously.
These 3 roster moves could ruin the Yankees’ season before it begins.
3. Signing Andrelton Simmons (or his stopgap friends)
Look at Simmons hacking at the top of the zone here! What’s the goal? What’s the goal of this swing? A dribbler where, exactly?
Sure, shortstop was a defensive black hole for most of 2021, but the literal last thing the Yankees’ anemic offense needs is an infusion of Andrelton Simmons. It can get worse. Oh, it can all get much worse.
Simmons’ defensive highlight reel is spectacular. Unfortunately, it mostly consists of entries from 2019 and earlier. Even with a baked-in backslide, he could be an asset for a semi-contender on defense alone in 2022 … but the Yankees’ offense wasn’t even approaching contention last year. They were a playoff team based almost entirely on the good vibes of an August 13-game winning streak. Adding Simmons’ beyond-subpar offense to their dangerous balance could put them below the postseason Mendoza Line. First percentile in hard-hit rate! First percentile in average exit velocity! Is “first” good?!
Oh, and the same goes for Freddy Galvis or Jose Iglesias.
All three of these bottom-tier free agent shortstops would represent a complete mis-assessment of both the 2022 season and the future “best-case scenario” for the Yankees. Anthony Volpe busts out and starts in 2024 while staying at shortstop? Great! Giancarlo Stanton is 34. Aaron Judge might’ve walked.
The Yankees can’t be short-sighted, but they also can’t be short-deficient. That’s what signing Simmons would usher in.