Could the Yankees go big-game hunting in the trade market — soon?
On Tuesday, ESPN analyst Buster Olney broke down the potential trade market for superstar shortstop Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies. His most likely landing spot: the New York Yankees.
We are months away from potentially the greatest free agent class at a single position in the history of Major League Baseball. Francisco Lindor has already been traded and subsequently signed a blockbuster extension with the New York Mets, but he was only one name on an impressive list.
World Series MVP Corey Seager of the Dodgers, Chicago’s Javier Baez, Houston’s Carlos Correa and Story are the other top shortstops who need a new deal before the 2022 season.
And with Colorado already indicating they’re in rebuild mode with the trade of Nolan Arenado to St. Louis, Story figures to be the biggest name on the trade market from this list of star shortstops.
Why the Yankees?
As Olney points out, the Yankees already have a shortstop: Gleyber Torres. But, if we’re honest, his defense at the position has left a lot to be desired over the past couple seasons and he played better at second base.
Story is everything the Yankees should dream of having added to their offense and defense. At the plate, Story is hitting .294 with a .368 on-base percentage and an adjusted OPS+ of 130 entering Tuesday’s action. His career 162-game averages of 35 home runs and 100 RBI at the shortstop position would be an enormous upgrade for the Yankees, even though Torres has had strong offensive seasons in his career.
One other point of consideration is Story’s ability to get on base. He has a career .343 OBP which would make him a terrific compliment to DJ LeMahieu. Those two were middle infield teammates in Colorado from 2016-18.
With the Mets bringing in Lindor, a Story acquisition would two of the best shortstops in the game in New York. And we’re here for cranking up the comparisons and rivalry as much as possible.
Why not the Yankees?
Olney rightfully (pun intended) notes that Story would add another right-handed bat to an already righty-dominated lineup.
Another issue would be the assets the Yankees would likely need to move to acquire Story, and how that impacts their immediate future. The Yankees have solid organizational depth so moving a few pieces to secure an important position for the next decade shouldn’t be a roadblock.
Perhaps the biggest issue may feel a bit odd for Yankees fans: money. According to Olney, Hal Steinbrenner has told his front office to stay beneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold. With expensive contracts already on the books, a long-term extension for Story would push that consideration to the side.