Yankees: Infield Shakeup Is In Order And It’s About More Than Trevor Story

Yankees Target - Trevor Story Shortstop (denverpost.com)

The Yankees will not thrive with Gleyber Torres playing shortstop. Tyler Wade is not the answer – Trevor Story is. Make the infield moves now.

The Yankees knew they had a problem with Gleyber Torres at shortstop all winter. Still, they did nothing to compensate, including a chance to sign Andrelton Simmons, who went to the Twins, where he’s hitting a robust .450 with a league-leading on-base percentage of .577.

Water under the bridge, as they say, but it shouldn’t and can’t the end of the “story” – Trevor Story, that is.

Trevor Story is one of several premier shortstops in their walk-year before reaching free agency after World Series.

Trevor Story is currently with the Colorado Rockies, who figure to be no better than a year-long competition with the Arizona Diamondbacks to avoid finishing last in the NL West.

Yankees: Make The Bold Move Now

Among the other free agents to be, Story is the most available in a trade now and through the trade deadline.

Trevor Story - 2022 Free Agent (denverpost.com)
Trevor Story – 2022 Free Agent (denverpost.com)

Carlos Correa has all but declared his desire to remain in Houston, where the Astros are putting together another division-winning team, even without George Springer and Justin Verlander.

Corey Seager plays for the Dodgers, which seems to say case closed, and why would he ever want to leave them? And Javier Baez appears to be on hold pending the Cubs season’s outcome, when if the Cubs falter, he may find himself;f on the outside looking in as the team melts payroll down.

Reconfiguring The Yankees Infield

The Yankees have Gio Urshela penciled in at third base (on the 10-day IL), DJ LeMahieu at second base, and Torres at shortstop.

Reconfiguring the Yankees infield with Trevor Story on board moves Torres back to second base. He has displayed better though not exceptional, fielding ability, with LeMahieu taking over the third-base spot.

Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Brian Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner, (Photo Credit) (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

What this means for Urshela is up to GM Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone to decide. Inclusion in the trade to the Rockies is possible, but that depends on how many prospects the Rockies will seek to let Story go.

Up for grabs, too, is the status of Miguel Andujar, who is fast building a reputation as another Yankee who can’t seem to stay on the playing field (10-day IL with zero at-bats this season).

In any event, it’s hard not to argue the Yankees are a better team with a reconfigured infield.

F___k The But, Hal

Yes, there’s always a but, and in this case, it’s Trevor Story’s $18.5 million salaries owed to him this season.

According to Spotrac, the Yankees have $3,718,222in estimated payroll space before reaching this year’s limit of $210 million before a luxury tax kicks in.

We know that Yankees principal owner, Hal Steinbrenner, has issued an edict to Brian Cashman to stay under the limit, a feat that Cashman has adhered to, even to the extent of removing reliever Adam Ottovino’s $9 million off the books, a move that still might prove to haunt the team.

Brian Cashman: The Early Years (NY Post)
Brian Cashman: The Early Years (NY Post)

So now, we get down to the nitty-gritty of what these largest-market Yankees are all about.

Will Hal Steinbrenner, and let’s not even ask what his Dad would do, relent and open up the Yankee’s well-endowed purse to bring a player of Story’s caliber on board by paying the MLB treasury, an estimated $2 million as a first-time over the limit team.

That’s it – a couple of million dollars for a Yankees franchise that ranks number one in terms of their sale value in all of baseball.

Now before you say it – I will. No one player, including Trevor Story, makes a championship team.

But he sure as hell gives the Yankees a better chance of erasing that embarrassing twelve-year draught than the composition of their current infield does.

The Yankees And Their Diminishing Brand

Some Yankees fans may disagree, but in recent years the team has lost its zeal. They have become a franchise led by Hal Steinbrenner that is more interested in packing 3 million fans into Yankee Stadium, having an auspicious regular season, only to reach the playoffs and to fall short of that all-elusive 28th Championship.

It trickles down to the players as well. Oh, we hear the occasional rumblings from Aaron Judge about how it hurts to lose, but the words sound more and more like talking points issued by Aaron Boone, who is even more of a spin doctor culprit deference to his bosses at the top.

Mets Steve Cohen Brews Optimism (espn.com)
Mets Steve Cohen Brews Optimism (espn.com)

So, the burning question remains. Will Hal Steinbrenner step up to the plate to blow past the luxury tax limit not only with Trevor Story but to set – change that – to revive the spirit of the New York Yankees brand?

In case the Yankees haven’t noticed, there’s competition across the bridge in Queens, and at some point, Steve Cohen will take no prisoners, acting as he should as the owner of a major-market big league team.

He’s already fired the first salvo across the Yankee’s bough by signing All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to a 10-year deal worth $241 million, and there is more to come.

So, it’s not about Trevor Story as much as it’s about the New York Yankees’ diminishing brand and the search for that Evil Empire fans across the continent once reviled or treasured.

Yankees 2021: All We Get Is More Of The Same?

The Yankees can limp along this year as they have for some time now with what they have.

They can hope beyond hope Gleyber Torres will become at a minimum an average shortstop, that Tyler Wade will find a way to hit above .200, and that Urshela or Andujar can fill the void at third base.

Yankees Fans - For The Love Of Baseball Photo Credit: Maxim.com
Yankees Fans – For The Love Of Baseball Photo Credit: Maxim.com

And that hope the gates will be fully open by mid-summer, and fans will gather at Gate 4 hoping to get the latest news about whether or not both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will be in the lineup that day.

Yes, life will go on for the Yankees with or without Trevor Story, and they’ll probably rack up enough wins to takes the watered-down American League East, and that’ll be as far as the dream goes – again.

I’m a fan, I’ve been a fan for more than a century, and I’ll always be a fan. But I gotta tell ya; these Yankees can hold a blade of outfield grass to the Yankees teams of (even) the recent late 90s and early 2000s. And yeah, it makes me angry.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Not disagreeing with you but…If the Yankees won’t give up on Sanchez what makes you think they’ll give up on Torres?. The horrific defense continues by the both of them.
If we get Story and he goes 0 for 4 in his first game – we should trade him. 😂
Wade sent down today! So no real SS backup?
been saying this for a while. They should’ve gone after Lindor but I understand what the Indians asking price probably wouldn’t help. What Yanks really need to do is go after Trevor Story, move Torres to second base ( he’s a true second baseman), and move DJ to first
The rumor mill claims that the Evil Empire will abduct Xander Bogaerts from the Red
Sox since his long term pact has an opt-out
Clause after, I believe this season or next.
So expect the Bronx Billionaires to do it the old Yankees Way and try to buy a shortstop.
I live up here in Denver, seen Trevor Story since he came up, good defense and bat, not a selfish player, would look good in pinstripes ..⚾️
TREVOR is a below-average hitter.
Torres is better has more upside and is younger.
TREVOR gives you 10 errors per season.
Brian Nasadoskithey need more small ball hitters fewer power hitters. Power hitters are streaky and get shut down with good pitching. This lineup is built for the regular season not postseason
Steve Contursi
 No but there’s something to be said for being realistic. You know how other teams deal with the Yankees. They want a king’s ransom in return. And the front office has made it clear that they are not going over the luxury tax threshold. So it isn’t happening.
Al McCaffrey

I would have said No back 2 years ago but now after seeing how injury-prone AJ is, I think it is a good idea to let AJ go in a trade while we can. I think we need a shake-up not down. I think if we can trade for Story and Blackmon it would work. I would not panic about the recent pitching given A-It is still less than 10 games into the season and B-Severino is coming back in 2-3 months. I really do like AJ but he has been out far too long and that hurts the Yankees in the long run. We need to give Gary Sanchez another season and if he does not do well, then it is time to also let him walk. I like what I saw with Austin Wells and Kyle Higashioka. I am not panicking about our offense as Jasson D. is on the wings, hopefully. I think we can also get Otani in 2 years. That is one player I really wished for…He deserves to be on a championship-caliber team.

I feel you on this, but the way to do it without hurting the infield, as much as it breaks my heart, is trading Voit. His bad in Colorado would be insane so it’s a win for them. For the Yankees, you move DJ to first, Gleyber to 2nd (he’s a plus defender at 2nd base) story at short and urshela at 3rd. If we can add Andujar and maybe another prospect we should also try to get German Marquez from the Rockies to solidify the rotation
They have no clutch hitters really. They let their best one go last year. You may remember him. Austin Romine. Not going anywhere including playoffs unless they hit in the clutch. It’s always been their problem for over a decade now since the arod days. This team ain’t good in the clutch

For More Yankees 2021 Themed Stories
Link To Main Page Here

And Thank You For Sharing –
Steve Contursi
– Story Teller

Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.