With Spring Training almost officially here, there’s little left for the Yankees to do. The James Paxton injury throws a wrench into their plans and that’s worth discussing. Luckily, both Bobby and Derek have that angle pretty well covered, exploring both internal and external options. Instead, let’s think about the Yankees’ utility infield situation. Randy discussed this earlier and I did, too, back in December. Like Randy suggested on the 5th and I suggested back in December, the Yankees should sign Brock Holt to be their utility man.
Brock Holt would definitely bring a sense of comfort and reliability to the Yankees’ utility role. There probably isn’t any upside left in him, but what he is as a player fits the needs of the position.
He can play all over the field and the various defensive metrics seem to like him well enough. While he won’t hit for much power, he’s got a decent average and has a solid walk rate in his career. His strikeout rate (around 20%) is a touch high for a guy with low power (.103 carer ISO), but the positional flexibility and the walks can help make up for that.
The predictability he offers is preferable to the upside of Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada, even if Holt will cost more than what those two make combined. Both those young players have shown flashes of skill and success, but it hasn’t been sustained.
Last year, we saw how important depth is to a winning roster. Holt adds depth and insurance. If they don’t sign him–or any other infielder/utility player–they’re left very thin should someone in the infield get hurt. If they sign Holt and he gets hurt, they can still fall back on Wade or Estrada.
The Yankees, with or without another utility player, are going to be a very good team and win lots of ballgames. However, they still need a small piece or two in order to guarantee that even more. Given his skillset and fit for the team, Brock Holt ought to be the one.