Analysis

The Yankees Must Add Infield Insurance This Offseason, Whether DJ LeMahieu Re-signs or Not

With the New York Yankees’ recent track record of being injury prone and Tyler Wade’s inconsistency, the Bombers should add infield insurance this offseason.

The New York Yankees‘ most important task this offseason will be to resign D.J. LeMahieu.

LeMahieu has played at an MVP level in each of his first two years with the Yankees after signing a two-year deal with the club prior to the 2019 season. Now a free agent, the Bombers are considered favorites to resign him and plug him back in at either second or first base every day.

Even if the Yankees are able to bring back their defending AL batting champion, they have a need to add a second infielder to provide depth in case of injury or for day’s starters rest.

In 2020, Tyler Wade was the Yankees’ primary reserve infielder and while his speed provided some value, he hit just .170 with three home runs and nine RBI’s. For his career, Wade is just a .190 hitter in 306 bats with a weak .274 OBP. Thus, in 2021 and in the future the Yankees cannot rely on Wade to be the go-to-guy to play every day in the event of an injury or on a scheduled day off for Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela or LeMahieu if he is were resign.

Names for the Yankees to consider instead include Freddy Galvis, Jurickson Profar and Kike Hernandez.

Galvis spent six seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, in which he earned the starting shortstop job from 2015-17. In 2017 he played all 162 games for the Phillies, hitting .255 with 12 home runs and 61 RBI’s. He’d spent 2018 with the San Diego Padres, where he again played all 162 games and then when onto play a backup role for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds the past two seasons. With starting experience and reliable fielding at both middle infield positions, Galvis would offer far more upside than Wade.

Profar was once a top prospect of the Texas Rangers’ but later was traded to the Oakland A’s and, prior to the 2020 season, the Padres. With San Diego in 2020, Profar had the best year of his career, slashing .278/.343/.428 with seven home runs and 25 RBI’s. The 27-year old plays both middle infield positions and third base, offering plenty of versatility and a reliable bat.

Finally, Hernandez is a proven winner all over the diamond, both in the infield and outfield. He has played in three world series with the Dodgers, including helping them win in 2020 and has smashed eight career postseason home runs. His experience being part of a winning culture, versatility and well-known personality would be a huge boost to the Yankees locker room and improve their depth on the field.

Regardless if one of these three players or another reserve infielder, the Yankees must add depth there this offseason whether they bring back LeMahieu or not. 

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