Yankees’ Gleyber Torres shrugs off trade rumors, eyes big 2023

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Feb 26, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) singles during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees‘ Gleyber Torres is taking matters into his own hands this season. While last year he came into spring camp unsure of his role, with DJ LeMahieu being talked about as the everyday 2B, this year seems no different.

The impeding Yankees’ youth movement, including Anthony Volpe, makes it so Gleyber’s job is once again unsecured. However, he’s not letting it get to him, and it seems to have lit a fire inside. Torres is one of the best second basemen in the league and won’t let the arrival of the organization’s top prospect deter him.

Despite trying to fend off the youth movement, Torres confirms he will still do whatever it takes to help them succeed, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic:

“Not at all. I have a really good relationship with Peraza. I spent time with him in the offseason back in Venezuela just trying to help him. Any advice I can give him to help, I’ll do it. I’m not that guy in that type of situation to stay on the outside because he’s coming for my job. I just try to help because he’s coming to the team bringing his energy and trying to help this team win, and the same goes for Volpe. I’ve started getting to know Volpe and anything I can to do to help or advise I can give, I’m going to do it. I really care about if they play well for us because winning is what’s most important for me.”

Gleyber Torres via Chris Kirschner

The Yankees still have Gleyber Torres penciled in as their 2B:

Gleyber Torres is still a great player, despite all the ramblings of trade talks. Last season he ended the year 6th out of all 2B in wRC+ with 115 and 5th out of all eligible 2B for OPS with a .761. He also improved tenfold on the defensive side of things, as he was tied for 5th best in baseball, with 9 DRS at the position. Torres has been seeing far more disrespect toward him this offseason than he deserves, but thus far in spring, he hasn’t paid any attention to the rumors.

He’s already gotten off to a blazing start despite it only having been four total games. Torres has racked up four hits in five ABs, with a HR and 2B to boot as well. Though spring training games don’t mean anything, it’s all about the process over the results. He seems to be taking the proper precautions and approaches at the plate, and the aggressiveness that he showed off in the past is alive and well.

If Gleyber Torres is able to hold onto his job at second base, that means Volpe may potentially slide over to third base to get more reps. Earlier, Aaron Boone stated that Volpe will be seeing some reps there this week, and it’s purely to get him comfortable at numerous positions in the infield.

Yesterday, he manned 2B and did a fantastic job there, as he made a few great plays when the ball came his way. He was able to trap it and keep his body behind the ball, and also gunned down a runner at home plate on a chopper hit his way. Torres already stated he’s going to lead by example and offer his insight and tips whenever applicable, and that is what makes him such a great teammate.

Torres shouldn’t be tied to Volpe. If anything, another guy should be on the chopping block:

In the case that Torres is still here come OD, he will undoubtedly be the starter at second. The veteran infielder starting there is certainly deserved, and he’s done more than enough to earn the gig. Volpe has had a great start to spring as well, but I still have a few reservations about whether the organization will want to essentially forgo AAA time entirely in favor of giving him a spot on the 26-man.

Regardless of what happens with Gleyber, I personally wouldn’t tie the two together hand-in-hand. If there’s anyone that should be moved off the roster to accommodate Volpe’s arrival, it should be IKF, no questions asked. The $6 million man could easily contribute to another team’s success as a utility infielder, and he may be better suited on a team that doesn’t have such high expectations and fans that expect nothing less than the very best.

I want Gleyber on the OD roster, as if not for a brutal August where he posted a .464 OPS, he would’ve ended the year with roughly a .820 OPS and 130 wRC+. Not to mention he has some fantastic power for the position, with his 24 HR and 28 2B last season.

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