Or you think the Yankees should stay Gleyber Torres or maybe trade him to upgrade another roster area, the 26-year-old second baseman is probably the club’s best non-prospect chip for a potential deal this winter.
Should the Yanks trade Torres, who had a rebounding season in 2022, for pitching help? They certainly aren’t forced to trade him – according to FanGraphs, the Yanks had the fifth-highest WAR in the major leagues at second base last season, and much of that was provided by Torres. Moreover, he will not be a free agent until 2025.
But the Yanks also have two youngsters, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpewho could potentially play second if Torres were moved. DJ Le Mahieu could get into the position once his injured toe has healed. There are also potential ripple effects from the left side of the infield with whatever happens Josh Donaldson and how the Yankees delegate shortstop duties.
To try to see which teams might match up with the Yankees and what a possible trade might look like, SNY recently talked to several baseball people about the idea of dealing Torres. And whether they should trade him at all.
To be clear, all that follows are suggestions from our panel, not a record of actual trade talks. Some ideas are more specific than others.
The people we spoke to named these teams as the best potential matches: the Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit Tigers. The Seattle Mariners could have been a possible destination earlier in the winter, but they struck a deal with Milwaukee to take them over Kolten Wong play second base.
Two people said they thought trading Torres was the Yanks’ real chance to get an impactful starting pitcher, assuming they don’t sign a free agent Carlos Rodon. But another wondered if the rest of baseball saw Torres as a big enough bat to lure a good starter into the trade.
Torres was part of the talks last summer as the Yankees sought their rights Pablo Lopez from Miami, but a deal fell through. But that could certainly provide a basis if talks were to rekindle. López had a solid season, but was less good in the second half (4.97 ERA, more than two runs higher than his first half). If not López, the Yanks might ask about it Trevor Rogersa 25-year-old lefty who had a bad year after being an All-Star in 2021.
What if the Yankees used Torres to solve an opening from another position player? Bryan Reynolds, the Pittsburgh midfielder, recently asked the Pirates to trade him. He would fit in well in the Bronx as the Yankees’ left fielder and lead-off hitter, one of our panelists said. But it would be costly, he added.
Reynolds, 27, has a career-on-base percentage of .361, hit 27 homers last year and was a 2021 All-Star. Reynolds, who made $6.75 million last year and will get a nice raise in arbitration, won’t be a free agent until 2026 and the Pirates have indicated they aren’t really looking at his trade request.
Torres made $6.25 million last year and will also get a raise, but the Yankees, our panelist said, would probably have to include several prospects in the deal to pry Reynolds away. Then maybe the Pirates could flip Torres for more prospects either now or at the trade deadline.
The White Sox got a combined .629 OPS and were 29th in WAR among second basemen in 2021, 23rd in MLB, so they could be a potential trading partner. They have internal options at second in Romy Gonzalez, Leury Garcia and Lenyn Sosa.
Milwaukee created an opening at second base when they split Wong, but maybe they want to Brice Turang, one of their best prospects, to land the job. He was recently put on their 40-man roster. The Tigers got a .562 OPS from their second basemen, the worst in MLB, but have sitting Jonathan Scop, an excellent defender who had a poor season offensively. However, the Angels could be a potential destination David Fletcherwho missed a lot of time last season could play second there.
One of our panelists also spat out some long shots: the Los Angeles Dodgers, if they move Gavin Lux to shortstop full-time, and the Chicago Cubs, who need a shortstop. Would Torres’ first organization return him to his original position after all his brief struggles with the Yankees?
Of course the Yanks don’t to have to deal Torres, who played well enough last season to spark renewed optimism about his future after two disappointing years in which his power slumped. He played well defensively at second base — leaving shortstop seemed to work wonders for him — and hit 24 home runs, had a .761 OPS, and hit a career-best 28 doubles.
His swing translates well to Yankee Stadium — 12 of his 24 home runs went to right or right center last year, according to baseball-reference.com’s home run log. He had a hard hit percentage of 45.3, according to MLB’s Statcast, the best of his career. His previous high was 38.0 percent. Several other hard hit stats were also career best.
Will Torres ever hit 38 home runs again, as he did in 2019, an All-Star season that likely set outrageous expectations for the rest of his career? Who knows?
But he might be worth keeping around. Well, depending on what the Yankees could get him.