Yankees could end up trading starting infielder this off-season

Alexander Wilson
gleyber torres, new york yankees
Sep 11, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) reacts to hitting his second home run of the game against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees were extremely active at the trade deadline during the 2022 season, acquiring Frankie Montas, Andrew Benintendi, Scott Effross, and Harrison Bader. However, they nearly acquired Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez in addition, completely overhauling their starting rotation.

Unfortunately, general manager Brian Cashman was unable to get the deal done, but reports emerged afterward that starting infielder Gleyber Torres was a part of the trade package.

It is no surprise that Torres’s numbers plummeted in the month of August after learning he was on the market. He hit .180 with a 20.4% on-base rate over 100 at-bats, finally getting over his emotions in September, hitting .319 with a 38.8% on-base rate.

Torres was reportedly upset about his inclusion in the deal, leading some to believe that he may desire to play elsewhere during the 2023 season.

Gleyber is a little on the fence [uncertain] about coming back next year. The Marlins rumors bothered him. He was almost traded for Pablo Lopez. Gleyber is not sure what his future holds.”

Per Bryan Hoch of MLB Network

The Yankees saw a better version of Gleyber Torres this season:

Torres hit .257 with a 31% on-base rate, 24 homers, and 76 RBIs this year for the Yankees. He featured a 22.6% strikeout rate and a 6.8% walk rate, earning a 115 wRC+. Defensively, he took a step in the right direction, posting a .985 fielding percentage over 1082 innings. He gave up just seven errors with 47 double plays turned.

In fact, he earned nine defensive runs saved above average, indicating a positive impact on the Yankees’ infield. However, he did have a polarizing offensive season this year, flip-flopping between good and bad months.

Unfortunately, his playoff stats represent one of the worst stretches of the year for Gleyber, hitting .176 with a 24.3% on-base rate. He failed to hit a home run over 34 at-bats and recorded two RBIs. He ended up being more of a liability than an asset during postseason contention, which could indicate Cashman’s desire to trade him this off-season.

The reality is simple for Torres, his value is likely capped at an average defensive player and slightly above-average bat. A 115 wRC+ indicates he was 15% better than the average player, but failing to come up in the playoffs is all that really matters at the end of the day. Historically, he’s been a pretty solid postseason player, hitting .281 with a 36.4% on-base rate over 31 games.

The question is, can Cashman get exponential value in return for Torres, notably another starting pitcher or a younger prospect who can help the team immediately? If not, retaining him for the 2023 season isn’t a bad idea, plugging the second base spot and not having to worry much.