The Yankees plan to have “open competition” at shortstop for now

SAN DIEGO — When spring training begins, Brian Cashman said there will be an “open competition for honesty” at shortstop.

That could change if Aaron Judge doesn’t return to the Bronx and the Yankees enter the free agent market for a shortstop, which Cashman said is a possibility with the money they haven’t spent on Judge.

But Cashman, like managing partner Hal Steinbrenner last month, hinted at the team’s outlook at the position.

“Right now we have kids,” Cashman said of Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. “We have competition at shortstop. We’ll see where it shakes out.”

That could leave Isiah Kiner-Falefa out of the lineup.

Kiner-Falefa was benched during the ALCS due to defensive errors, with the Yankees working with Peraza and Osvaldo Cabrera.

“We’ve got some really high-level young kids that we’re really excited about,” Cashman said. “Is their future early next year? This has yet to be determined. If not, they may still offer a term.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Getty Images

The Yankees could move Gleyber Torres, who is playing winter ball in his native Caracas, Venezuela. And DJ LeMahieu is dealing with a broken bone in his foot that could affect his availability at least early next season.

Cashman again sounded like he was locked into Josh Donaldson at third base.

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Aaron Boone said in winter training that he expected a short-distance battle in the spring.

“We feel like there’s a lot of talent out there,” Boone said of the prospects. “This is a deep group.”

Boone said of Peraza: “He’s ready for this opportunity. He won the opportunity to compete for more roles.

Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees hits a bat during spring training on March 20, 2022.
Anthony Volpe
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Poe

Cashman said he met with Kodai Senga’s agent, Joel Wolfe, and is looking into the starting pitching market.

According to sources, Carlos Rodon is the main free agent remaining in free agency and the Yankees are interested in him.

Cashman said he thinks the rotation is in “good shape” with Gerrit Cole, Frankie Montas, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino, along with Domingo German and Clark Schmidt.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t want to improve it,” the CEO said.

“I think we want to add depth,” Boone said.

Boone said LeMahieu is working out at the team’s facility in Tampa and is expected to meet with a foot specialist on Tuesday to further discuss the broken sesamoid bone in his right toe.

The manager said LeMahieu was running and carrying ground balls and was seen by the team’s training staff, who were all encouraged by his success.

“It’s actually doing pretty well,” Boone said.

A potential operation would be complicated.

Boone added that he spoke with LeMahieu last week and “this is the first time there’s been a little bit of optimism about what he’s going through.”

Boone said he is still trying to replace Hensley Meulens as an assistant coach. Meulens went on to become the Rockies’ best coach.

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