There have been a number of reports indicating that the Yankees could trade Gleyber Torres this off-season, but as the months have passed, the probability has decreased. Torres is a valuable player, especially if the Yankees aren’t confident that DJ LeMahieu can remain healthy during the 2023 season.
DJ managed to avoid surgery on his toe, but it is an issue that could bubble to the surface once again, and trading away one of your more consistent infielders certainly is a risky play.
Torres is coming off a resurgence 2022 season, playing in 140 games and recording a .257 average, .310 OBP, 24 homers, and 76 RBIs with a 115 wRC+. This was the first time he hit double-digit homers, let alone 20 or more, since the 2019 campaign when the MLB was using juiced baseballs.
- Yankees still have a big starting pitching decision to figure out
- Yankees can still land top remaining free-agent left-fielder if asking price comes down
- Yankees settle with Gleyber Torres on one-year deal, avoiding arbitration
The Yankees shouldn’t jump the gun on a Gleyber Torres trade:
Torres has great forecasts for next season, hitting .262 with a .327 OBP, 23 homers, and 73 RBIs, according to his Steamer projections. He is also expected to steal 13 bags with a 20.7% strikeout rate, 8.4% walk rate, and 120 wRC+. They have him at a 3.4 WAR, his best since 2019, and would be the second-best in his career.
In addition to his offensive metrics, Torres is coming off his best campaign defensively. Over 1082.2 innings at second base, Torres earned a .985 fielding percentage, accruing seven errors and 47 double plays. He posted 9 defensive runs saved above average, the most in his career by a significant margin.
Ultimately, the numbers support retaining Torres, who’s only 26 years old, especially since he won’t be a free agent until 2025. He still has two more seasons of arbitration until the Yankees have to make a long-term decision, which they don’t have to make right now.
Having Torres at second base until they know what Anthony Volpe‘s future looks like this season is an ideal scenario. It is possible they look to cash in at the trade deadline if Volpe is ready to make the leap, but for the time being, Torres should very much be in the team’s plans, considering he’s more of an asset than a liability.
If any two infielders should be on the trade block, it should be Josh Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.