These were necessary moves, too. Kiner-Falefa is the shortstop the Yanks have been eyeing for quite some time compared to sexier options like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story, who are still on the market.
When it comes to Donaldson, while adding him may not have been necessary, he brings more pop at the plate than Gio Urshela did and he isn’t a defensive liability. Finally, Rizzo was always someone Yankees fans thought might be coming back, especially with Luke Voit‘s injury history.
However, three new infielders creates a bit of a logjam and there might be an odd man out. That man is Gleyber Torres.
I know, it is weird to me, too, that someone at his age with his talent could become trade bait for the Yankees. But that’s the situation at hand.
Let’s break it down:
– Torres’ defense forced the Yanks to move him off shortstop last season, so that led to the Yankees finding Kiner-Falefa and making him the permanent guy there. So he’s locked in at short.
– Donaldson coming over now means DJ LeMahieu can’t be the permanent third baseman.
– Rizzo being back means LeMahieu can’t start at first, and Voit is still on the roster.
In turn, the starting infield on Opening Day — if nothing changes — would be Donaldson, Kiner-Falefa, LeMahieu, and Rizzo left to right. And that’s certainly a fair assumption.
So what can the Yankees do about their logjam, especially considering Torres is just 25 years old and has two All-Star seasons under his belt?
Well, the Yanks would obviously love to keep him if they can. But the only way I could find a potentially consistent role, if you want to call it that, is having Donaldson be your primary DH. That would allow LeMahieu to play third most nights with Torres at his most comfortable spot at second.
The drawback to that? Giancarlo Stanton would have to be an everyday left fielder — and we know that his contract and making sure he’s on the field to fulfill that for a full season is a higher priority than others.
Joey Gallo comes into play here, too. Left field is his domain and the Yankees made the move for him because of Stanton being the primary DH. But sure, you could move him to center or Aaron Judge for that matter and let Gallo play right.
Then, there’s Aaron Hicks, who is returning from Tommy John surgery. Though we don’t know where he currently is in his return, Hicks is still locked in for years to come and offers a switch-hitting bat with natural center field skills.
So you see the conundrum that Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are likely going through at the moment.
Luckily, teams see a two-time All-Star with plus hitting skills — Torres has struggled in the slugging department the last two seasons, however — and he becomes someone to listen on.
The Yankees are reportedly in discussions with the rebuilding Oakland A’s about Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas, two starters who would immediately upgrade the rotation — an area of need. You can probably make an educated guess and say Torres, as well as Voit, would be in those trade discussions.
Personally, I love Torres and think he has more to offer. But the way the roster is currently constructed, it is very hard to see him getting consistent playing time. That’s why the Donaldson move confused many, but he’s here.
As the regular season creeps closer, be on the lookout for another big move by the Yanks that could send a former Baby Bomber away.
Source: Yahoo Sports