Yankees fans are looking for the Bronx Bombers to make some big changes ahead of 2023. Maybe not too many drastic changes since everyone wants Aaron Judge to stick around. The infield outside of newly re-signed Anthony Rizzo could use some transforming, though.
The left side, which included Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson, didn’t work out at all. Gleyber Torres posted a solid season with 2.7 fWAR, 24 home runs, and 76 RBI while primarily playing second base. That was a net positive for the Yankees, but he was nearly dealt at the trade deadline as part of a package that would’ve sent Miami Marlins starter Pablo Lopez and shortstop Miguel Rojas to the Bronx.
The 2022 season also brought big-league debuts for Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera, both of whom can play shortstop. Oh, and the Yankees’ top prospect, shortstop Anthony Volpe, is waiting in the wings in Triple-A.
Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone both made it sound like the left side of the infield wasn’t going to change much during their end-of-season press conference. It seems like Donaldson and his $20 million salary are entrenched at third base for another year. However, the rest is to be determined.
Hal Steinbrenner has publicly mentioned his intention to get younger up the middle, so you know what that means. Yes, some of New York’s current middle infielders are available in the trade market.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post specifically names Torres and IKF as trade candidates this winter. He’d be more surprised if they both stuck around in the Bronx for 2023 than if they were both gone (or, at least one). This makes plenty of sense. If the Yankees want to give some of their top prospects a chance to play, the deck needs to get cleared a bit.
In his piece, Sherman noted the Seattle Mariners — who just traded for Teoscar Hernandez earlier this week — are interested in Torres. He also speculated that the Chicago White Sox could be a trade partner.
What could the Yankees be looking for in return? They have some spots to fill in the bullpen before Opening Day. So, one would imagine the ideal trade partner will have relief pitching to offer New York.
We heard earlier this week that the Yankees were in contact with some of the game’s top free agents. This included guys like Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner, and Brandon Nimmo. It feels like more of a backup plan in case things go south with the 2022 American League MVP. But in either scenario — giving their prospects a chance or signing a star shortstop — the Yankees will need to make room in that area of the roster.