The New York Yankees trading Gleyber Torres is entirely contingent on DJ LeMahieu’s health and Anthony Volpe’s readiness to make the jump to Major League Baseball. Reports have indicated that DJ is progressing nicely from a toe injury that ended his 2022 season prematurely.
Volpe is expected to compete at shortstop alongside Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but the likelihood of him winning that position battle is low. The more probable scenario is that Volpe heads back to Triple-A Scranton to ramp up for an eventual call-up that will insert him at either second base or shortstop, depending on how Peraza is performing.
Anyway, you look at it, Torres seems to be expendable, especially since his value is the highest it’s been since 2019.
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The Yankees could look to flip Torres for bullpen support, but the MLB Network put together an outlandish trade proposal that doesn’t really make sense but is interesting to consider.
Yankees-White Sox Mock Trade:
Torres hit .257 with a 31% on-base rate this past season, including 24 homers and 76 RBIs. He logged a 22.6% strikeout rate and a 6.8% walk rate with a 115 wRC+. His power metrics return to normal, earning a 44.9% hard-hit rate and 10.7% barrel rate, both career highs.
Defensively, he had his best season at second base, posting a .985 fielding percentage with nine defensive runs saved above average.
With two years left of team control, this is arguably the best chance to trade Torres at his current value, especially with the infield market thin following a big free agency. The White Sox have solid bullpen pieces that could fit what the Yankees need immediately, but they have to be confident in Volpe filling second base or Oswaldo Cabrera taking over until he can return to his normal utility role.
White Sox Give:
In this mock trade, the Yankees land two bullpen arms, a veteran and a young lefty with upside. The first of the bunch is Liam Hendriks, a 33-year-old earning $18 million for the 2023 season, including a 2024 club option.
Hendriks posted a 2.81 ERA in 2022 over 57.2 innings. He’s an extremely consistent relief arm, posting 13.27 strikeouts per nine and a 76.6% left on-base rate. Hendriks features a 98th-percentile strikeout rate and 95th-percentile fastball velocity. He also earned a 99th-percentile whiff rate. He utilizes a 4-seam fastball, slider, and curveball sequence. His fastball averages 97.6 mph, and produced a .248 batting average this past season. In addition, his slider produced a 66.9% whiff rate and a .100 batting average at 89 mph.
Hendriks is well worth every penny if the White Sox are looking to trade him and offload his salary.
In addition to Hendriks, the MLB Network also has the White Sox giving up Garrett Crochet, a 23-year-old bullpen arm. Crochet last pitched in 2021, tallying 54.1 innings. He earned a 2.82 ERA, 3.95 xFIP, and 10.77 strikeouts per nine.
Crochet utilizes a 4-seam fastball, slider, and change-up combo. His fastball averages out at 96.7 mph, generating a .288 batting average in 2021. His slider earned a 44.8% whiff rate and a .141 average against with a 33.1% put-away rate. He grades out extremely well but sustained a partial UCL tear that resulted in Tommy John surgery in 2022, so he will likely take a few months to ramp up but could be a solid contributor down the stretch.
With Hendriks earning a substantial amount of money and Crochet coming off Tommy John, the White Sox would be getting a healthy Gleyber Torres in exchange with team control for the next two seasons. On paper, it could make sense, but it feels very lopsided in favor the Yankees.