No, we’re not twisting ourselves into a pretzel trying to convince ourselves that passing on a high-profile shortstop in this star-studded class is a good idea. New York Yankees fans are rightfully angry that’s been the buzz circulating in recent days.
All we’re doing is living life and exploring ways the Yankees can successfully pivot IF they’re going to cheap out in free agency and opt for a “stopgap” shortstop in the name of reserving a spot for Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza. It’s egregious enough that’s even the conversation, but if that’s truly how the Yankees feel, there are other ways to go about it than punting 2022 by signing Freddy Galvis, Andrelton Simmons or Jose Iglesias.
Don’t want to even mention those guys’ names anymore. Shouldn’t even be heard in the same breath as “Yankees.” Ever.
New York has a window, if they make the right moves. The 2022 season should be yet another prime opportunity for this team … but we won’t jump to conclusions since we thought 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 would also be theirs for the taking. They couldn’t have given it all away any faster or in more disheartening fashion.
Creativity is the name of the game here. The Yankees have a loaded farm system with a lot to give, especially if they plan to hang on to a select few names and maximize the primes of Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge (assuming he’s extended soon).
So, if Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien are off the table for 2022, general manager Brian Cashman needs to make some calls to see if these shortstops across the league are available via trade.
The Yankees need to explore trades for these four shortstops if they pass on one in free agency.
4. Harold Castro
The Detroit Tigers might be the team that lands Correa, so if that happens, would they shop Harold Castro, who got his most exposure at shortstop this past season? In 43 games, he didn’t make a single error at the position … but was good for -5 Defensive Runs Saved. There’s a reason he’s No. 4 on this list.
Then again, the Yankees don’t exactly need the greatest of defensive wizards taking over for Gleyber Torres — someone who has range and can make routine throws/field routine grounders will do. The bar is low right now.
The “knock” on Castro is that he’s more of a utility player than a shortstop, and is a second baseman first and foremost. But he proved he can handle shortstop better than Torres ever could and his bat didn’t suffer. Castro’s a nice slap contact hitter, which is another characteristic this Yankees team needs. Check out his numbers since 2019:
- 2019 – .291 average (103 hits) in 97 games
- 2020 – .347 average (17 hits) in 22 games
- 2021 – .283 average (89 hits) in 106 games
Not great … but not bad! The Yankees could slot a player of Castro’s caliber in the nine-hole and easily get by. Plus, he won’t exactly be expensive in trade talks despite the fact he’s under club control through 2026. He’s about to be 28 years old and doesn’t have a lot of MLB experience. He’d be a fine “stopgap” option and then transition to a utility player once Volpe/Peraza are ready.