The Yankees have had more continuity at shortstop in the last 25 years than most teams could dream about.
Derek Jeter locked down the spot for a remarkable 20 seasons, putting up a Hall of Fame career in pinstripes. Then, Didi Gregorius was acquired from the Diamonbacks after Jeter retired, and he went on to call the position home for most of five seasons.
But as of now, Gregorius is on the open market as a free agent, and the Yankees have many cards that they could play to fill that role. Perhaps they look at the trade or free agent market, or perhaps they look inward.
Gleyber Torres became the Yankees primary shortstop last season while Gregorius was recovering from Tommy John surgery, and is certainly in play to take over that role on a full-time basis moving forward.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman was a guest on Mike Francesa's radio show on Wednesday, and he discussed the possibility of having Torres take over.
"He showed, clearly, in the absence of Didi last year that we could be a really effective franchise with him at short and DJ LeMahieu at second. It played out well, and that will be part of the evaluation, but is that the best that we should be doing as we move forward? Or is it with Didi at short? Or is it with some other alternative that's a potential trade or a free agent signing that we haven't been talking about? Those are the things we have to evaluate and discuss."
Cashman explained that some plans take some time to materialize, and used last year's example of LeMahieu as a prime example.
"Obviously if I was on the program with you last year, DJ LeMahieu was not really in the beginning stages of our game planning," said Cashman. "It's something that materialized over time, so that's kind of how these things work. Some things just emerge and we'll have to wait and see, but there's no doubt Gleyber Torres did a really good job playing shortstop. That's his natural position. We didn't miss anything while he was playing there. He was thriving for us, so at the very least we're comfortable with the roster we have, but at the most, the job continues to be 'What is the best deployment?'"
Torres played 75 games at short for the Yankees while Gregorius was still recovering, and he had plenty of success during those games, batting .289 with 25 home runs and a .954 OPS. When Gregorius did return, he hit just .238 at the plate.
"Didi's been a great player for us, he really has, this past year notwithstanding, and he's been a great person," Cashman said. "I think our fans obviously had a chance to really enjoy him, and now obviously he's earned the right to be in free agency to open it up and listen to what everyone has to say, including us, and then he'll have some choices to make as will we. … So we'll see."