The New York Yankees have had a busy off-season marred by rumors and speculation, a typical sequence. However, there were plenty of trade proposals and whispers that Gleyber Torres could be on the move.
The Yankees floated the idea of trading Torres at the deadline last summer, but nothing materialized. However, he’s one of the more valuable assets they can justify moving, especially coming off a bounce-back 2022 season where he hit .257 with a .310 OBP, 24 homers, and 76 RBIs. This was the first time since 2019 he hit double-digit blasts, and the Yankees are excited about his future success, but they also understand the log jam still unfolding in the infield.
After elevating Anthony Volpe to feature as the team’s starting shortstop, the Yankees have to find ways to get DJ LeMahieu into the lineup and on the field defensively, which unfortunately pushes Torres into the designated hitter rule.
As long as Giancarlo Stanton is playing in the outfield, Torres can utilize his bat and not worry about the defensive side, but that ultimately doesn’t take advantage of his value.
Manager Aaron Boone hasn’t spoken to Torres about his future role, and considering he’s been kept in the dark the past few months, it certainly suggests that he could be on his way out at some point this season.
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“No, not really. I don’t have any news yet. But I’m here to do my job at any position at any time and I’m gonna play and try my best. Let’s see how we figure out all season long the best position for me to play.”
Gleyber Torres showed his value to the Yankees on Opening Day:
Nonetheless, on opening day, Torres showcased his value, launching an opposite-field homer in the bottom of the 4th inning, driving in Josh Donaldson and giving the Yankees a 3–0 lead. Torres posted a hit, two runs, two RBIs, and a walk across three at-bats. This is exactly how the 26-year-old infielder wanted to start his 2023 season, even if it means boosting his value for another club that actually wants him.
Boone had a few positive comments after the game to offer Gleyber, but his very vocal celebration certainly indicated he was trying to send a message.
“He’s capable of hitting the ball with authority over there [the other way],’’ Boone said. “And who he did it off is as tough a customer as there is at getting the ball in the air against.”
As stated above, the Yankees have several infielders they’re trying to get reps, and after sending Oswald Peraza back to Triple-A Scranton, it’s only a matter of time before he makes the jump and takes over a starting job.
For the time being, though, Torres is forcing Boone to include him in the line up on a daily basis, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started the season on a hot streak with something to prove.