Amidst New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner proclaiming his openness to make changes within the franchise, 2B Gleyber Torres may be on the move to clear cap space and make way for other talent in the infield.
Torres’ Play in 2023 a Strong Selling Point for Yankees
Brian Hoch of MLB.com detailed how Torres’ contract makes for a ripe opportunity for New York to execute a deal and allow Oswaldo Peraza and some of the other Yankees infielders to receive an expanded role on the team, saying:
“The Yankees could conceivably bring Peraza into camp as a rover at second base, third base, or shortstop, though a Torres trade remains on the table,” Hoch mentioned. “Torres is arbitration eligible and would be looking at a raise over the $9.95 million he earned this past year.”
Torres had an efficient season behind a .273/.347/453 slash line to go along with 25 home runs. He also struck out 31 fewer times than in 2022 and stole 13 bases on the year. He saw most of his time at second base though he did make six appearances at shortstop in 2023.
Torres finished in the top seven among all second basemen in most hitting categories including home runs (No. 5), hits and doubles (No. 6), as well as runs and RBIs (No. 7). He is one of the stronger options at the position and is sure to catch the attention of other general managers across the league should the front office opt to move him.
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Can Yankees’ Young Talent Fill Torres’ Shoes?
The infield looks strong for head coach Aaron Boone moving forward. Anthony Volpe is cemented at shortstop. He is a finalist for the Gold Glove award and would be the first Yankees shortstop since Derek Jeter to win the award.
Meanwhile, Peraza, 24, and Oswaldo Cabrera, 23, look for more time around the diamond. Both are signed for under $1 million and are currently in pre-arbitration as cheaper options for Steinbrenner to work with. DJ LeMahieu also saw sparing action at second but will turn 36 during the 2024 campaign.
Peraza and Cabrera have work to do on their batting averages but posted strong fielding percentages in 2023.
New York has shuffled the deck in the order and the infield throughout the season. With younger talent behind Torres, now may be the best time to capitalize off of his value on the trade market while also freeing up cap space in preparation for free agency with several big names on their wish list.