Yankees’ starting second baseman may have dodged being traded

mlb: new york yankees at houston astros, gleyber torres
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ recent promotions of young prospects like Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells, Everson Pereira, and Oswald Peraza are clear signals of a youth movement that could shape the team’s destiny in 2024.

The Yankees Pivot to Young Talent

Historically, the Yankees’ front office has leaned heavily on aging veterans and high-priced players, often at the expense of budding prospects. With this roster-building strategy falling flat, the team has shifted gears to focus on young talent.

Immediate Impact of New Promotions

The results are already encouraging, with the Yankees on a five-game winning streak since promoting Dominguez and Wells. Dominguez, in particular, has been on fire, registering a hit in each of his first five games, including three home runs.

Veteran Spotlight: Gleyber Torres’ Consistent Season

While these young prospects are stealing the limelight, one seasoned player has been quietly but consistently excelling. Starting second baseman Gleyber Torres, who at 26 is barely older than Wells, is currently enjoying one of his most consistent seasons in professional baseball.

Torres’ Impressive Stats: Why He’s Essential

Across 136 games, Torres has a batting average of .272 and a .340 OBP. He’s slugged 24 homers, driven in 61 runs, and boasts a wRC+ of 122, the second-highest of his career. Manager Aaron Boone has even praised his consistent performance, calling him one of the team’s most vital and dependable hitters, especially in light of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s time on the sidelines.

“What’s stood out to me is obviously he’s having a lot of success — for a young man, at this point in his career, I feel like this has been his most consistent season from start to finish,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Less peaks and valleys. With some of the injuries that we’ve had, he’s certainly been our most consistent hitter all year.”

August Surge and September Outlook

Torres’ performance in August was nothing short of stellar: a .327 batting average, .410 OBP, .598 slugging rate, and a 1.008 OPS. He slammed seven home runs and struck out only 19 times in 107 at-bats. As September rolls in, he’s maintained this hot streak, batting .364 with a .417 OBP and a 1.144 OPS over a mere 11 at-bats.

The Case for Keeping Torres in Pinstripes

Once considered prime trade material, Torres seems to have solidified his role as the Yankees’ go-to second baseman. He has one more year of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency in 2025, so a bump in his salary is expected next season to sidestep arbitration.

The Argument for an Extension

Torres is smack in the middle of his prime and appears to be improving. His strikeout rate, for instance, has dropped from 22.6% last year to 14.2% this year—a noteworthy achievement.

Defensive Capabilities: Room for Optimism

While opinions on his defensive skills are divided, Torres had a strong defensive season in 2022. He earned a .985 fielding percentage over 1,082.2 innings and contributed nine defensive runs saved. This year, despite picking up 12 errors and a .976 fielding percentage, he still showcases the potential for above-average defensive performance.

A Hold on Trade Talks: Torres Secures His Spot

For the foreseeable future, it looks like Torres has quelled any inklings General Manager Brian Cashman may have had about moving him. The GM has been open to offers for years but now seems content to keep Torres right where he is—especially given the uncertainties surrounding prospect Oswald Peraza.

The Yankees may have opened the door to a new era with their latest promotions, but Torres’ consistent performance makes it clear: he remains an integral part of the team’s core.

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