The Yankees have been interested in shortstop Andrelton Simmons for quite some time and it's carrying over into this offseason.
New York is reportedly among the teams that have checked in on the veteran in free agency this winter, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
In fact, the Yankees tried to acquire Simmons from the Twins at the trade deadline this summer.
Simmons isn't exactly a force on offense—the 32-year-old slashed .223/.283/.274 with three home runs and 31 RBI over 131 games this year with Minnesota—but his defense is among the best in the league at the position.
The former second-rounder has won four Gold Glove Awards over the course of his 10-yard career. He also finished the 2021 season with 16 Outs Above Average, per Statcast. That's the fourth-highest mark among qualifying shortstops across Major League Baseball.
To put that number into perspective, Gleyber Torres had a minus-9 OAA during his time at shortstop in 2021, among the worst in the league.
Hearing the Yankees are interested in Simmons doesn't mean that New York is officially out on the top-tier shortstops available in free agency. Obviously Marcus Semien is no longer available—the ex-Blue Jay signed with the Rangers on Sunday—but Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and more still remain on the open market.
Simmons could be a backup option if negotiations with Seager and the like fall through. Or, perhaps New York wants to sign the veteran as purely a backup, considering Gio Urshela is currently the only other infielder on New York's big-league roster that can play shortstop.
That is, unless the Yankees promote Oswaldo Cabrera. The prospect was recently added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. That move corresponded with the Yankees designating Tyler Wade for assignment, trading him to the Angels a few days later.
The Yankees also signed shortstop Jose Peraza to a minor league contract on Monday, another infielder to help provide some depth.
It's also possible that the Yankees are planning to sign a stopgap, like Simmons, rather than a top-tier free agent. That would allow New York to bridge the gap between the 2022 regular season and when their top prospects—Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza—are ready to make the jump to the Bronx.
That's not what the fan base wants to hear, though. Barring a slew of other high-profile moves this offseason, all signs pointed toward shortstop as the position New York needed to address the most over the next few months.
- Yankees Ranked as 'Likeliest Suitor' For Corey Seager
- Corey Kluber Makes AL East Switch, Signs With Rays
- Nothing Remains From the Andrew Miller Trade