1.) Kipnis to the outfield.
It worked out so well with Lonnie to the outfield, right? We'll see.. it was only the last few months of the season that we really got to see Lonnie flash the glove. Perhaps he can maintain his high level of play in the outfield, what with his cannon arm, good jumps, good routes, and diving catches. Or maybe... maybe we'll see, because he'll be our center fielder this year?
It doesn't make much sense for us to pour over a couple months of defensive data on Lonnie's outfield excursion because of the small sample size, but offensively, Lonnie certainly plays better there. Consider: Chisenhall's career OPS of .713 would've been tied for 15th out of 19th in OPS last year among qualified center fielders (his B-ref projection would boost him up close to 13th compared to last year's qualified center fielders). It's also worth noting that Lonnie's career OPS would put him easily in the bottom 20th percentile of RF OPS last year.
Whether or not Lonnie has the range or route-running ability to play center field is an unknown, and this might all be an unrealistic exercise, but I do know this: Lonnie certainly has the arm to gun runners down at the plate. That's not nothing.
So, you might be asking, "why are we talking so much about Lonnie when this first bullet point addresses Kipnis to the outfield?" Well, Kipnis is still moving to the OF-- RF, to be specific. Please consider the following quote from a 2009 scouting report on Kipnis:
Defensively, Kipnis may lack the first-step quickness to play center field in the upper minors and majors. But he has decent overall speed and could be a good defensive corner outfielder.
Kipnis, as most of us know, played some center field in college. Like possibility Frazier and/or Zimmer, it was assumed that he may have been a better fit for a corner position, although in Kipnis' case he ended up moving out of the outfield entirely. Point is, there is reason to believe that Kipnis can be at least an adequate defender in RF, and possibly a good to very good defender.
Comparing Kipnis' offensive projections to other right fielders is not the point here. We know who Kipnis is: an overall good hitter, who can hit anywhere in the lineup, who has a good eye, good speed on the base paths, some good gap power the opposite way and the potential to slug some out. Kipnis helps this lineup, bottom line, and this doesn't have to be more than a one year experiment anyway (Zimmer and Frazier may be on the horizon soon).
2.) So what to do with second base?
Because I anticipate outfield being more solidified in 2017 with the possibility of Kipnis returning back to second base if needed, I would like to see a young, decent stop-gap player with the potential to grab the position and force us to make some interesting decisions. With Sterlin Castro hogging second base for the Pinstripes through 2020, Yankees prospect 2B Rob Refsnyder is in No Man's Land. His defense is a bit questionable, but he is projected to have a little pop as well as a platoon split.. he and Ramirez could make for an interesting tandem, and if not he gives you a nice depth option (he started his career in the outfield, and so he too may be able to move around a bit, if needed). He was seen as a potential heir to the throne in New York at 2b, so it's possible that he ends up sticking there.
He shouldn't be had for more than a minor leaguer, or a package of them. Maybe a package of Gonzalez and, I donno, Armstrong gets it done.
3.) Left field?
I like Davis (of course, since he's under contract) and perhaps Naquin as a platoon partner for him until Brantley returns.