The Yankees have a good problem on their hands this spring. As New York prepares for the 2023 regular season, it appears they have a glut of middle infielders vying for playing time. This includes veterans like Gleyber Torres, D.J. LeMahieu, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It also includes young dudes like Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Anthony Volpe.
We’ve known for weeks that the Yankees would ideally like to give their top prospects a chance to play this season. That’s why IFK and Torres were among a few Yankee vets reportedly on the trade block this winter.
Based on how things are going for the Colorado Rockies, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman should be constantly calling Bill Schmidt to try and make a deal.
Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers just went down with a shoulder injury that could keep him sidelined for all of 2023. Colorado initially had thoughts of moving Ryan McMahon back to the keystone. He’ll instead stay at the hot corner, as the new intention is to input newly-signed Mike Moustakas at second base after signing him to a minor-league deal.
While Moustakas has put together some solid big-league campaigns, it’s been a rough last two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. In 140 games (491 plate appearances), he’s slashed .212/.289/.356 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI. The people who run the River Ave. Blues Twitter account said out loud what every Yankees fan is thinking upon seeing all this go down:
The Rockies are practically begging the Yankees to take them to the cleaners in an IKF trade. https://t.co/uWHHHwh8oX
— River Ave. Blues (@RiverAveBlues) March 6, 2023
In an ideal world, Cashman would like to make a trade that’d also clear some salary. This way, New York wouldn’t be so close to the highest luxury tax penalty tier.
Hypothetically, Torres would fit the Rockies’ current needs. But let’s be honest — they’re not trying to legitimately compete this season. Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections have Colorado flirting with another 100-loss season and a last-place finish in the National League West. There’s just about no way they’d want to take on any amount of his $9.95 million salary for 2023 before he hits free agency.
That’s probably the same regarding IKF. Colorado just signed Moustakas to the league minimum and IKF will be making $6 million this year.
Even if the Yankees have to kick in money, they have to do something. After all, they’ve got an impending roster crunch to deal with ahead of Opening Day. Manager Aaron Boone has been trying to sell a utility role for Isiah Kiner-Falefa should he not be the starting shortstop. This even includes him taking some reps in the outfield, but that seems like a stretch. It’s something Cabrera could certainly do himself.
The Rockies may end up not going for this because of the aforementioned lack of desire to try and win. But hey… the Yankees have to try everything they can, right?
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.