Yankees’ Gleyber Torres may be headed into his farewell season

mlb: new york yankees at kansas city royals, gleyber torres
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are at a crucial juncture with second baseman Gleyber Torres as he approaches the final year of arbitration. Having settled with the Yankees for $14.2 million, Torres is eyeing a long-term extension beyond the 2024 season. However, General Manager Brian Cashman’s willingness to invest heavily remains uncertain.

“I don’t want to leave here. I want to be a Yankee for life.”

Torres’ Case for a Long-Term Deal

Torres has positioned himself for a significant payday, potentially commanding over $17 million annually, especially if he replicates or improves upon his performance from last season.

In 2023, Torres showcased his value by playing 158 games, boasting a .273/.347/.453 slash line, and achieving personal milestones with 25 homers, 68 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases.

Notably, his reduced strikeout rate and a double-digit walk rate culminated in a 123 wRC+, marking one of his most impressive seasons to date. Despite a decline in defensive efficiency, evidenced by a drop from nine defensive runs saved in 2022 to -4 last year, Torres’s aspirations for a balanced game could enhance his free-agency appeal.

Yankees Balancing Big Contracts

The Yanks face financial dilemmas with several key players, including superstar Juan Soto, who is poised for a significant contract extension after the 2024 season.

The team’s strategy may involve reallocating funds, such as potentially declining Anthony Rizzo’s club option to free up approximately $20 million, which could then support a contract extension for Torres.

With emerging talents like Jasson Dominguez and Spencer Jones expected to assume starting roles and Ben Rice as a prospective long-term solution at first base, the Yankees have options to maintain financial flexibility while securing core players.

READ MORE: Yankees getting strong reports from veteran infielder in Spring Training

The Road Ahead

The likelihood of Torres securing a new deal with the Yankees currently seems uncertain, with odds less than 50%. However, a standout 2024 season could shift perspectives, compelling the Yankees to reassess their budget and prioritize retaining Torres.

As the team contemplates its salary cap and luxury tax implications, Torres’s future with the Bombers hangs in the balance, underscored by his expressed desire to remain with the team for life.

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