Projecting New York Yankees’ Opening Day roster for 2022

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Third baseman Matt Chapman #26 of the Oakland Athletics (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Yankees Infield (7)

  • Gary Sánchez
  • Kyle Higashioka
  • DJ LeMahieu
  • Gleyber Torres
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • Matt Chapman
  • Gio Urshela

Yeah, I think the Yankees really are going to do the Matt Chapman thing. It’s the first of the stopgap shortstop rumors I earnestly trust.

They can’t do Andrelton Simmons. They just can’t. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is my mental runner-up, but the fact that it’s extremely clear they were talking to Oakland before the freezeout indicates that this is their master plan. IKF certainly fits the bill of a defense-first, Gold Glove stopgap, but based on the incoming 40-man roster crunch (an annual tradition at this point), you’d assume the Yanks would want to do bigger business with the A’s than flip a faraway prospect for Kiner-Falefa in a separate deal with Texas.

In the Yankees’ defense, it would create theoretical versatility to hold onto both Gio Urshela and Chapman and deploy both men on the left side of the infield a few times a week to lock it down; in the other games, LeMahieu would play third, and either Chapman or Urshela would be at short.

I so badly wanted to insert Oswaldo Cabrera here in the Tyler Wade role, but not just yet. Not on Opening Day. If Urshela’s traded, he’s the odds-on favorite to slide in, though.

Since this is the A’s trade we’re pitching, that means our projections say goodbye to Matt Olson and reengage with Anthony Rizzo on what ultimately becomes an incentive-based three-year, $40 million deal. Lots of people will be furious if this comes to pass. We will not, though we’ll be mourning the mistreatment of Luke Voit for quite a while.

BONUS PROJECTION: Voit to the Brewers for one top-20 prospect and a lottery ticket