Why the Yankees should refuse to trade Gleyber Torres this off-season

gleyber torres, new york yankees
Oct 20, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (left) throws to first base to complete a double play after forcing out Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) at second base to end the sixth inning during game two of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have no reason to trade infielder Gleyber Torres at the present moment. At 26 years old, Torres is coming off of a bounce-back 2022 season, hitting .257 with a .310 OBP, 24 homers, and 76 RBIs. This was the first time since 2019 he hit double-digit homers, recording a 44.9% hard-hit rate, 10.7% barrel rate, and 90.4 exit velocity, the three highest metrics in his career.

Finally recording a wRC+ over 107, specifically 115 this past season, expectations for Torres have increased. His Steamer projections have him hitting .262 with a .327 OBP, 23 homers, 73 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases.

The Yankees currently face a log jam in the infield since Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson are competing for starting jobs. IKF will face off against Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe at shortstop, but Donaldson will have to fend off DJ LeMahieu at third base, which is unlikely.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees traded IKF at some point this off-season, likely after the position battle unfolds during spring training. They can clear $6 million off the books and reallocate toward a potential left-field competitor like Jurickson Profar.

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The Yankees shouldn’t even think about trading Gleyber Torres:

Torres, though, seems to have his position cemented for the time being since DJ is likely to play on the hot corner, where he excelled defensively in 2022. Torres has proven himself as a defender, putting together his best season in the infield last year. He enjoyed 1082.2 innings at second base, recording a .985 fielding percentage and nine defensive runs saved above average.

The Bombers have control over Gleyber until 2025, so given he’s locked in for the 2024 season, the Yankees may be able to increase his value even further, moving him at the trade deadline if they like Volpe at 2B.

Nonetheless, since IKF and Donaldson are incapable of playing second base, the only alternative there is DJ LeMahieu or Volpe. The expectation is that the Yankees’ top prospect will start the season in AAA for at least the first few months.

Torres was recently named to the MLB’s top-10 second baseman list, indicating he’s in line for a big 2023 season. While Torres trade rumors were running rampant just a few weeks ago, they have quieted down with the realization that he’s more of an asset than a liability and the Yankees have no essential need to trade him.