Yankees will soon have a problem most teams would die for – too many shortstops. Didi Gregorius just finished a career season in 2016 and is expected to get even better.
Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres is a rising star who could give Brian Cashman fits if he has the season he is likely to have in the minors. And Tyler Wade, all the way down at the bottom (4th) of the team’s shortstop prospects, could probably start on several teams. What to do with all this talent…
Too much of anything is not good, right? But not in baseball and surely not for the Yankees, right? We’ll see as the 2017 season develops because it’s going to be up to Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi to balance the new talent with the “old” (read more expensive) talent in a daily and ongoing battle for playing time.
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And perhaps the most glaring of this dilemma will soon be at the shortstop position. Didi Gregorius did not help the situation any when he emerged as a budding star (.276, 20HR, 70 RBI) and at 26 he is only expected to get better and better.
The Yankees sent Gleyber Torres to the Arizona Fall League where he promptly won the MVP hands down causing Brian Cashman to gush at one point during the offseason:
“When I was out there for the GM meetings, I went to see him play and the buzz among all the baseball people, the scouts and front office execs alike was ’this is the best player in the league,’” Cashman says. “And he was the youngest player in the league, so that’s pretty exciting to hear.”
Yeah well, we’ll see how excited he is when Torres soars from AA Trenton to AAA Scranton and is knocking on Cashman’s door after two or three months of so-called “seasoning” and is ready for a call-up – to play where?
Curiously, the Yankees don’t seem to be considering either Gregorius or Torres as a replacement for Chase Headley at third base. And that could be because they have their sights set on signing a destined to be the hometown favorite in Manny Machado when he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season. But be that it is may, it still doesn’t solve the potential problem that is likely to develop during the upcoming season.
Unless of course, the Yankees front office totally punks out taking a year away from Torres time in the majors (if he plays just one day, he gets credit for a year in service) and thereby stalling his eligibility for arbitration and free agency down the road. While this might make good business sense for the Yankees, making that choice is not likely to endear them to their fans.
Regarding Tyler Wade, the team did send him to the Arizona Fall League with the specific purpose of getting playing time in the outfield, which by the way is pretty much filled up with talent as well.
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To be sure, the Yankees could have problems worse than this. But still, it’s something to watch. Because unless Cashman is working behind the scenes to trade prospects, which he says he is not, these are very real problems the franchise is to be dealing with sooner rather than later. Stay tuned; this is going to be a wild and fun filled ride.