Urshela, of course, is no stranger to New York after enjoying a breakout season with the Yankees back in 2019 and spending three seasons in the Bronx. Since that breakout season, Urshela has established himself as an above-average regular in the infield with a .291/.335/.452 slash line good for a 115 wRC+ over the past five seasons with the Yankees, Twins, and Angels. Urshela has paired that above average offensive production with roughly average defense around the infield dirt, where he’s played primarily third base along with some shortstop and brief cameos at both first and second base.
The infielder’s market has been relatively quiet for most of the offseason to this point. The only potential connection to get any buzz to this point in the winter for Urshela was a recent report of interest from the Blue Jays, though even that comes with the caveat that Toronto’s interest may wane in the wake of the Isiah Kiner-Falefa signing. The relatively quiet market for Urshela’s services could connect back to the infielder’s injury-marred 2023 campaign. While he hit a decent .299/.329/.374 during his time in Anaheim, it’s worth noting the fact that he appeared in just 62 games with the club after his season came to an abrupt end in early June thanks to a pelvic fracture. Given Urshela’s downturn in power production as an Angel and the significant injury the 32-year-old is recovering from, it would be understandable if clubs viewed his free agency with some trepidation.
Even in spite of the question marks surrounding Urshela and his injury-plagued 2023 campaign, he still stands as one of the better infield options on the market this offseason. The unusually thin positional market has been hit particularly hard with regards to available infielders, with Urshela standing as one of the best players available behind third baseman Matt Chapman. The likes of Whit Merrifield, Tim Anderson, Eduardo Escobar and Adam Frazier make up the next tier of players available, all of whom Urshela rates relatively favorably in comparison to.
Given that reality, it’s no surprise that the Mets would have at least some level of interest in Urshela’s services. Switch-hitting youngster Ronny Mauricio appeared to be in line for a shot to be the club’s regular third baseman in 2024, but the 22-year-old suffered an ACL tear while playing winter ball earlier this month, leaving the club with only Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Joey Wendle as options for regular starts at the hot corner entering next year. Both Baty and Vientos have struggled offensively in the majors and have questions about their defensive ability at third, while Wendle had previously been ticketed for a utility role in Queens next year. The addition of Urshela to the club’s mix would take pressure off of Baty and Vientos while given the Mets a right-handed complement to Wendle who is similarly versatile on defense.
Urshela’s fit with the Yankees is far less clear. With Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and Anthony Volpe all entrenched at first base, second base, and shortstop respectively, that leaves third base as the only uncertain infield position in the Bronx as things stand. While that’s Urshela’s native position, the club nonetheless has veteran DJ LeMahieu penciled in as the everyday third baseman as well as youngsters like Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera who could step into the club’s infield mix in the event of an injury. Even on the heels of a relative down season by LeMahieu’s standards, the addition of Urshela is not a clear upgrade over the 35-year-old veteran and would likely only serve to clog up the club’s infield mix further. Of course, it’s possible that a trade of a player such as Torres could free up space on the dirt and make a reunion between the Yankees and Urshela more plausible.
Sammon’s report also suggests that the two New York clubs are not the only ones with interest in Urshela’s services, though it does not name any other specific clubs. It’s at least possible Toronto still has interest in adding Urshela even after signing Kiner-Falefa, but other speculative fits for the infielder’s services include the Cubs, Mariners, and Brewers. Chicago currently figures to utilize some combination of Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom, and Christopher Morel at third base, while the Brewers and Mariners appear likely to turn to Andruw Monasterio and Luis Urias respectively at the hot corner.