Diamondbacks' latest roster cuts gift Yankees potential veteran infield option

Need someone who can play shortstop? Of course you do.
Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Anthony Volpe was set in stone -- if healthy -- as the Yankees' starting shortstop long before Oswald Peraza was felled by a shoulder injury. Regardless, though, the loss of Peraza had a significant ripple effect on the team's depth chart; without a roving backup infielder who could comfortably cover the shortstop position, it suddenly seemed likely the team would open that role up to free agent overtures.

Once DJ LeMahieu slammed a baseball off his problematic foot and made himself questionable for Opening Day, those screams grew louder.

Now, with under a week to go before the opener, it seems highly possible the Yankees will add two infielders rather than carry Kevin Smith or Josh VanMeter to Houston. Their depth seemed likely to be tested long before the LeMahieu injury. Now, competent shortstop depth is a necessity.

Elvis Andrus, a two-time All-Star and Friday Diamondbacks castoff, could provide exactly that. Arizona released Andrus after taking a recent flyer on him, and the NL Champions weren't swayed by his two hits in 17 spring at-bats to make any roster room. The Yankees, who are looking for a warm body to fill in (veteran expertise preferred), would be wise to chase him.

Yankees could sign Diamondbacks spring training cut Elvis Andrus as backup shortstop

Andrus joins other recent spring training cuts -- Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp of the Cincinnati Reds -- as potential infield options for New York, alongside players who are still on the market from earlier in the offseason, like Donovan Solano. Kemp was reportedly pursued by the Yankees earlier in the offseason, and his ability to contribute from the left side of the plate differentiates him from the others in the mix (though, yes, Cabrera is a switch-hitter).

Finding a roving infielder is one thing, though. Finding a shortstop is quite another.

Andrus' prime sprinted away from him years ago; if he still resembled the Texas Rangers All-Star he once was, he wouldn't be set free on March 22. Still, though, the 35-year-old provided significant value as recently as 2022, when he hit .271 with nine homers and a 116 OPS+ in 43 games down the stretch for the Chicago White Sox. That's all the Yankees need. 43 games.