It seems more probable than improbable that the New York Yankees will trade second baseman Gleyber Torres this off-season. Torres, 25, is coming off a solid campaign in 2022, hitting .257 with a 31% on-base rate, including 24 homers and 76 RBIs. He doesn’t project to have a long-term role within the Yankees’ ranks, and his value hasn’t been this high since 2019.
With that being said, capitalizing on his production now seems to be the most efficient move, and with reports indicating that the Yankees have discussed a potential move with the Seattle Mariners, it is only fair we began exploring trade opportunities between the two teams.
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Yankees/Mariners mock trade revolving around Gleyber Torres:
Owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have both stated that the team will be looking for bullpen support this off-season. Whether that be via trade or free agency, the Yankees have plenty of options to bolster the bullpen, especially after the injury to Scott Effross, which will keep him out for the entire 2023 season.
In this mock trade, the Yanks acquire 32-year-old relief pitcher Paul Sewald. The Yankees would have two more years of control before Sewald hits free agency, similar to Gleyber. He’s coming off a season where he recorded a 2.67 ERA, 10.13 strikeouts per nine, and an 82.1% left-on-base rate over 64 innings. Some may look at this deal and see a lack of value, but if the Yankees don’t have plans for Torres and they don’t trust he can replicate his 2022 statistics, this is more than fair.
Sewald predominately utilizes a 4-seam fastball and slider combination, generating a .144 batting average with his fastball and a .148 average with his slider. In fact, his slider produced a 40.3% whiff rate and 26.4% put-away rate, good for 38 strikeouts over 108 at-bats. That pitch combination works well for Sewald since both have above-average horizontal movement, making it extremely difficult for opposing batters to determine which pitch is coming out of his hand.
Sewald can serve as a high-leverage arm for the Bombers, coming off two solid campaigns.
Management has already indicated that Ostwald Peraza and Anthony Volpe will compete for the starting shortstop job this upcoming season, but that would leave one out of the equation. Naturally, I would expect Volpe to end up shifting to second base, given his lack of experience. The team still has Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Josh Donaldson, and DJ LeMahieu under contract, meaning they have more than enough talent to fill the infield if they don’t begin trading some of those players.
If the long-term plan is to have Peraza at shortstop and possibly at second base, the team might as well sell high on Torres now instead of risking a reduction in value as we experienced after the 2019 season.