Batting eighth, Jorge Polanco - 2B
You thought we were just going to round this out with players who are already Yankees, didn't you, Squidward?
No, here's where the value of versatility returns (after far too long) to the New York Yankees. Sometimes, Donovan can occupy second. Sometimes LeMahieu can man the position. Peraza will get his cracks. And, often, it'll be Jorge Polanco, who the Twins have made extremely available.
When it doesn't have to be Gleyber Torres every single day, it gets a little easier to keep everyone fresh (stay tuned for the Dream Rotation).
The switch-hitting Polanco is reportedly available, along with Max Kepler, as the Twins attempt to slice payroll, too (because what else are you supposed to do after winning a playoff series for the first time in 20+ years?). The longtime Yankees tormentor hit 14 bombs with a 115 OPS+ last season, roughly equivalent to Torres' contributions (118). He's got an option year for 2025, and turned 30 last July. It could be a very fun two years with Polanco before he cashes in one more time, a far easier decision than Torres' dangling arbitration headaches.
Batting ninth, Austin Wells - C
Jose Trevino will get a fair degree of opportunities (preferably in the clutch), Ben Rortvedt can reset at Triple-A, and we thank Kyle Higashioka heartily for his endeavors.
But this is Wells' job, especially after the lefty slugger found a late power surge in September, just after Yankee fans stopped being en-masse bummed about the loss of The Martian. Wells shook off a slower than slow start to post a small-sample-size 97 OPS+ with four bombs, 13 RBI and only 14 strikeouts in 75 plate appearances.
The Yankees have an All-Star, Platinum Glove caddy behind him, but Wells did nothing to lose first-team reps in his September cameo.