Yankees leave Gleyber Torres hanging on extension talks: “I wish”

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres
May 25, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Sadly, it seems as if the idea behind keeping Gleyber Torres in pinstripes for the foreseeable future isn’t a mutual one. The Yankees don’t seem too keen on giving him an extension at this moment, and that is something that I personally don’t quite understand. Despite all the murmurs and speculation surrounding him getting dealt this offseason, I was one that believed the team should extend Gleyber and keep him around. However, if Gleyber’s recent comments are any indication of how the organization feels, it’s certainly not going how I wanted. 

As per Marly Rivera, Gleyber and the team never had any discussions on a contract extension during their arbitration process. She stated, “When asked if he was approached by the #Yankees with any talks of a contract extension during his last arbitration process, Torres said “I wish.””

Marly Rivera, ESPN

Though Volpe is certainly chopping at the bit to get more action, but Gleyber is easily one of the best bats and all-around players on this squad as it stands. 

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Gleyber Torres has consistently improved with his back against the wall:

Torres was able to bounce back last year to a much more respectable level of play, as he was a top 5 2B in numerous categories, including both OPS (.761) and wRC+ (115). He has improved dramatically defensively, and that was noted by his 9 DRS at the position, which was a career-high for him. He’s clearly improving across the board, and at the end of the season last year, he was one of the best contributors in the lineup. 

Losing Torres would be a much larger blow than many fans want to admit. There seems to be some undeserved hatred toward Gleyber, and some fans have referred to him as “Gary Sanchez 2.0,” which doesn’t even make sense or tread any water. He’s one of the last remaining guys of the Baby Bomber era, as it’s he, Judge, and Severino still around. Should the team trade Gleyber, it had better be for a top-of-the-line starter or a left fielder that will play every day. He’s still a great player, and losing him would be a big blow. 

Torres is only 26 years old and hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Shipping him off now could come back to bite the Yanks, especially if he ends up turning in his best season to date this year. It’s a land of hypotheticals, but why get rid of one of the best contributors in a season where there’s already been a few uncertain blows come the Yanks’ way? Montas is likely done for the season, so now the Yanks are going to need more offense to get by whenever they roll out their fifth starter — whether that be Schmidt or German. 

The Yankees can still use Gleyber:

GleyBae used to be seen as the future, and he still should be. If he’s able to just replicate last year, he’s still one of the best at a very shallow position in baseball.

Torres could very easily post another 120 or so wRC+ year to pair with 25+ HR, and if not for a rough August last season (.464 OPS), he would’ve finished with upwards of a 4 fWAR. He’s young, talented, and has another year of control following this one. Perhaps the organization wants to see how he does this season before committing long-term, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. 

Torres has already reported to spring camp, slightly ahead of when is required, and he’s been getting some reps in. It could be a huge redemption season for the stud second baseman, and having him on a roll could allow for an easier transition to the majors for Volpe.

Keeping Torres in pinstripes May not seem like that much of a necessity, but let me say, it definitely should be. His September alone should be reason enough, as he caught fire and OPS’d .962, with a 172 wRC+, and hit 6 HR. Gleyber deserves an extension, and fans should put their gripes to the side to realize he’s a key contributor to this squad.