3. Didi Gregorius
Didi Gregorius is the one player on this list that has a good shot at returning this season. He was one of the biggest fan favorites in a long time. He successfully replaced the captain Derek Jeter, and the only reason he was let go was that the Yankees had no room in the infield. One could argue the Yankees are still stacked in the infield, but Gregorius might be will to take a lesser role at this point.
Last season, Gregorius had 10 home runs in 60 games while putting up a .827 OPS. The native of the Netherlands is only 30 years old, so his career is far from over, but he has fallen off a bit from his peak two and three years ago. He’s still very good at his position, and the Yankees are rumored to be looking into trades that could open up a position for Gregorius.
Right now, Torres is playing shortstop. He’s a great hitter, but last year he was terrible defensively. He’s actually had worse defensive WAR numbers as his career has gone on. His WAR numbers were so bad last season, that it counteracted his offensive WAR numbers to the point that he fell at 0.0.
Adding Gregorius gives the Yankees the option to put him at short half the season, move Torres to second, move LeMahieu to first, and make the rest work. There won’t be as many balls hit to Torres, and he can build confidence again in the field. The errors will go down, and the Yankees won’t lose that much in the lineup with Didi.
It’s still a long shot since the Yankees re-signed LeMahieu and Gregorius reportedly wants a long-term deal, but if he’s willing to negotiate, then the Yankees could make it happen.