Yankees’ infielder could have a career year in a contract season

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Miami Marlins
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees know that their offense is capable of producing substantial results in 2024 after adding Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo to the equation. Both will be free agents next off-season, but the Yankees could also be in danger of losing Gleyber Torres, who general manager Brian Cashman has spoken vaguely about regarding any possible extension.

Torres has publicly stated his intention to stay in the Bronx and remain a Yankee on a new deal, but the front office has sidestepped any loyalty and opted for a more conservative approach when discussing his future.

The Yankees Are Expecting Big Things From Gleyber Torres

Torres is coming off a solid 2023 season, one of his best offensively. He hit .273/.347/.453, including 25 homers, 68 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases. He recorded a career-low 14.6% strikeout rate and a 10% walk rate with a 123 wRC+. He was the team’s second-best hitter behind Aaron Judge, showcasing his value.

However, Torres does have a few deficiencies, notably defensively and on the base paths. He made far too many base-running mistakes and took a big step in the wrong direction regarding his defensive efficiency. Over 1,255.2 innings at second base, Torres had a .975 building percentage with 15 errors, including -4 defensive run saves and -3 outs above average. Torres did record nine defensive runs saved in 2022 at the position, suggesting he’s capable of putting together solid defensive numbers.

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Yankees
Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Notably, Gleyber is one of the team’s better hitters, with runners in scoring position, hitting .270/.343/.417 last season. Having that clutch factor and his ability to hit opposite-field homers, he’s become a staple for the Yankees and is expected to solidify an important spot in the lineup.

This spring, the 27-year-old is already starting off on a hot note. Over 12 games, he’s hitting .323/.353/.710, including three homers, six RBIs, and a 170 wRC+. He’s been one of the team’s hottest hitters over the past few weeks and will enter the regular season feeling confident. Of course, the better he plays, the more expensive he will be on the free-agent market. Unfortunately, the more pricey it becomes, the more unlikely it is that the Yankees will give him a long-term deal.

With that being said if he can put together another strong offensive performance and pair it with better defensive metrics, a team out there will give Torres a significant contract. Still, the Yankees will have bigger fish to fry, with Soto headlining the free-agent class.

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