Yankees not expected to extend former All-Star infielder this off-season

mlb: new york yankees at houston astros, gleyber torres
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees aim to enhance their roster this off-season, the status of former All-Star infielder Gleyber Torres remains uncertain. General Manager Brian Cashman has acknowledged Torres as the team’s second-best hitter behind Aaron Judge in 2023, suggesting that trading him might be detrimental given the team’s overall offensive struggles.

Offensive Contributions of Torres

Torres, at 26, has proved to be both young and durable, playing 158 games in the past season. His offensive statistics are noteworthy, with a .273 batting average, a .347 on-base percentage, and a .453 slugging rate, including 25 home runs and 68 RBIs. Notably, his strikeout rate was at a career-low, and his weighted runs created plus (wRC+) indicated he was 23% better than the average player.

Torres has excelled in critical hitting situations, performing well with runners in scoring positions. His ability to deliver in these moments is crucial for the Yankees, who struggled significantly in this area.

Yankees’ Replacement Options

The possible replacements for Torres include DJ LeMahieu and Oswald Peraza. However, there are concerns about the potential drop-off in offensive production, as Peraza is still developing his batting skills.

mlb: new york yankees at kansas city royals, gleyber torres
Sep 30, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) is interviewed after defeating the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Contract Talks and Financial Considerations

The Yankees have not yet engaged in long-term contract extension talks with Torres, as reported by The Athletic. With Torres expected to earn around $15 million in his final arbitration year, a significant pay increase from the previous season, his value to the team, particularly if paired with a top hitter like Juan Soto, is evident.

Defensive Performance

Taking a look at Gleyber‘s defense, this is where things get a bit inconsistent. He played 1,255.2 innings this past year, earning a .975 fielding percentage with 15 errors, including -4 defensive runs saved and -3 outs above average.

These numbers are far worse than his .985 fielding percentage in 2022, which included seven errors and nine defensive runs saved. We know he can be a quality defender. It’s just a matter of balancing his offense and glove, which would catapult him into the upper echelon of infielders in baseball.

The Verdict on Torres

In conclusion, the Yankees should consider retaining Torres unless an irresistible trade offer emerges. His combination of offensive prowess and potential for defensive improvement make him a valuable asset for the team, especially considering his current contract situation.

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