Yankees could flip Gleyber Torres in trade if they sign the last great shortstop on the market

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres
USA Today

The New York Yankees have already renewed their interest in a potential shortstop signing in free agency. After missing out on Carlos Correa, who signed a three-year, $103.5 million deal with the Minnesota Twins, general manager, Brian Cashman could immediately shift his attention to Trevor Story, the last remaining great shortstop on the market.

Despite the fact the Yankees have already acquired Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the trade with Minnesota, they may have a different infield combination in mind, which could be at the expense of Gleyber Torres. Kiner-Falefa, who is just 26 years old, has experience playing multiple infield spots, including third base and second base.

At the Major League level, Kiner-Falefa has 925 innings of experience on the hot corner but has predominantly featured at shortstop during his four-year professional career.

However, the Yankees could feel confident that Kiner-Falefa would hold down the hot corner sufficiently, recording a .962 fielding percentage at the position and accruing 12 errors. Alternatively, they have Josh Donaldson on the roster, but he only played 92 games in the field last season — he could fit a designated hitter role more predominantly moving forward.

If that is the case, the Yankees could easily swoop in and sign Story, who is coming off a solid year with Colorado, hitting .251 with 24 homers and 75 RBIs.

Story isn’t only a quality power hitter, but he also provides phenomenal defensive qualities. Last season, Story recorded a .975 fielding percentage at shortstop over 1175 innings, totaling 14 errors and 85 double plays turned. Some are concerned about Story’s arm strength moving forward, but he would only serve a stopgap role until Anthony Volpe is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

What should the Yankees do with Gleyber Torres if they do end up signing Story?

Torres has had an up-and-down career up to this point, hitting just nine homers last year over 127 games. Back in 2019, Torres smacked 38 homers, and the Yankees desperately need him to return to that version of himself.

Defensively, they’ve already had to exile him from shortstop, moving him back to second base where he has better success. However, Torres features a .971 fielding percentage at a position where DJ LeMahieu features a .991 fielding percentage, an astronomical difference. It would be borderline malpractice not to host DJ at second.

If the Yankees do end up going that route, flipping Torres in a package deal for a starting pitcher would be a perfect sequence of events. Torres is projected to earn $4 million this upcoming season and an estimated $5.75 million in 2022. Considering the Oakland Athletics are trying to bring in low price players/prospects, Torres might not fit the bill for Sean Manaea or Frankie Montas. Maybe the Cincinnati Reds would be intrigued by a bigger haul for Luis Castillo, who’s coming off another solid campaign in 2021.

While sending Torres on his way would be tough, the Yankees need more starting pitching support, and adding a big name like Castillo or either of Oakland’s starters would give them a World Series caliber rotation.

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