Yankees have a huge Gleyber Torres decision looming

mlb: toronto blue jays at new york yankees, gleyber torres
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees face a significant question with Gleyber Torres and his future in the Bronx. Torres has been a consistent player for the Bombers over the past six seasons, playing over 123 games five different times, including a minimum of 140 over his past two seasons.

Torres’ Offensive and Defensive Performance

Torres has had inconsistencies in his offensive and defensive production over the years. In the batter’s box last season, Torres put together one of his best campaigns, hitting .273/.347/.453, including 25 homers and 68 RBIs with 13 stolen bases. His strikeout rate dipped 8% compared to 2022, showcasing more discipline as a hitter and boosting his walk rate to 10%, just the second time he’s hit double digits in his career.

One of the concerns with Torres is his spotty base running and defensive consistency. He was regularly caught in between base paths last season and made poor judgment on numerous occasions.

As a defender, Torres recorded a .975 fielding percentage with 15 errors, including -4 defensive runs saved and -3 outs above average over 1,255.2 innings. If you reflect on his 2022 defensive metrics, he recorded nine defensive runs saved and a .985 fielding percentage. If you combine those metrics with his offensive production from 2023, Torres will undoubtedly become a highly sought-after asset on the free-agent market.

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Yankees’ Financial Considerations and Future Prospects

Currently, Spotrac has Torres’s market value at seven years, $128.6 million, averaging $18.3 million per season. That would rank third among contracts given to second basemen. Torres and the Yankees settled to avoid arbitration this off-season, paying out $14.2 million for the 2024 season.

Given the fact that general manager Brian Cashman has been willing to include Torres in prospective trade talks for years now, it is safe to say that the probability of extending him is low.

Torres will look for the highest bidder, and the Bombers may be forced to find a supplement in the future. They could consider a prospect like Caleb Durbin, a 23-year-old who hit .291/.361/.440 in Double-A last year, sporting a 4.6% strikeout rate, as an underrated solution — he’s also one of the team’s non-roster invites to Spring Training.

In addition, they could look to Oswald Peraza if he continues to develop offensively, considering he has a Gold Glove Level acumen.

Strategic Decisions Ahead

The Yankees do have options, but Torres is far and away their best second baseman at the moment. Extending Juan Soto on a lucrative deal and adding pitching may force them to move on from Torres financially.