The New York Yankees have a few big decisions to make over the next few weeks, most of them regarding reinforcing the starting rotation. They have been in talks with multiple trade partners, notably the Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins.
Miami is an interesting trade partner, given they need infield support and have young lefty Jesus Luzardo as their primary asset.
Luzardo would be a perfect fit in the Yankees’ rotation at 26 years old with three more years of team control. He’s coming off his best season, pitching 178.2 innings, enjoying a 3.58 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 10.48 strikeouts per nine, a 74.9% left-on-base rate, and a 40.2% ground ball rate. He limits his walks, doesn’t give up an extreme amount of home runs, and has good strikeout numbers.
Altogether, Luzardo is a good pitcher with even more upside, so there are plenty of reasons why they would be interested in acquiring his services. It is important to note that he does have an injury history, having only pitched over 100 innings twice in his five-year professional career.
With that being said, the Yankees will have to give up some serious capital to acquire a player of his caliber. It is possible that the Bombers leverage Gleyber Torres since he’s been a part of trade talks for the better part of two years.
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Should the Yankees Move Gleyber Torres in his Final Year of Arbitration?
At this juncture, there is no real information to stand on that the Yankees will extend Torres on a long-term contract, despite the fact he’s one of their best offensive players at 27 years old and has shown the ability to play solid defense in the past. He’s coming off a good 2023, hitting .273/.347/.453, including 25 homers, 68 RBIs, and a 123 wRC+. If he can contribute those numbers again in 2024, but in the middle of the batting order, the Yankees will get extremely valuable production, but another team may want his services, too.
If Cashman isn’t willing to give up any of his top prospects, notably Jasson Dominguez, Spencer Jones, or Chase Hampton, Torres could headline a deal with a team like the Marlins, who need infielders and have shown interest in the past.
The question is, how do the Yankees prepare for the future if they do move Gleyber?
Currently, they have DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Pazza as alternatives, but DJ is expected to start the season at third base, and Peraza is half the offensive player Torres is.
The Yankees would have to acquire a player next year through free agency or via their own development. The expected free agents at second base include Jose Altuve, who will be 34 years old but certainly isn’t loved by Yankee fans.
Altuve is still one of the best infielders in the game, hitting .311/.393/.522 this past season. Maybe the Yankees want to pay him a similar amount to hold over second base for a few seasons while they figure out a younger and more controllable asset, given they are able to get over the cheating scandal.
The team is in such desperate need of pitching, Torres is an obvious trade candidate, but losing his bat would be devastating, and it doesn’t seem the Yankees can afford to pick apart their batting order after just reinforcing it with the acquisition of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo.
We will see how Cashman approaches this problem since he can just spend money on Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell on the free agent market, but they’re both 31 years old, and regression seems inevitable. Locking the team into another long-term deal that will age poorly doesn’t feel like it’s at the top of Cashman’s wishlist.