Yankees reportedly holding star second baseman out of trade talks

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

While trade speculation around infielder Gleyber Torres, on our most recent podcast on Fireside Yankees, MLB Reporter Michael Marino shut the door on a potential deal.

According to Marino, teams across the league have not heard that Gleyber Torres is available, which would indicate that the team feels comfortable with him in the position. While he’s been involved in trade talks in the past, coming off of a season where the team failed to generate much offense, Torres stood out with a 123 wRC+ and led the team in strikeout rate (14.9%).

Following a trade for Juan Soto, the team has gone all-in, with Brian Cashman announcing in his most media availability session that the focus is “right now.”

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MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Sep 30, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) hits an RBI single against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It’s clear the Yankees need well-rounded bats, and Gleyber Torres certainly fills that role, and we could chalk up trade talks to speculation. When Jeff Passan revealed his list of players that could be traded on the Baseball Is Dead podcast, Torres was also notably not on the list, with a lack of reports suggesting that the team has made him available for trade. Even when the Red Sox showed interest in the 26-year-old, Passan quickly disputed the idea that Boston could trade one year of Alex Verdugo for one year of Gleyber Torres, and this report would be in line with that.

Improving the lineup is a must for the Bronx Bombers, who recently added superstar outfielder Juan Soto, and while the team hasn’t had extension talks with Torres, they seem intent on keeping him. In his most recent media availability session, Cashman mentioned his outfield being “set” and that the only moves they could potentially make there were if an opportunity presented itself to make the team a lot better, an opportunity that likely doesn’t present itself this winter.

The Yankees may view the situation with Torres similarly, as Brian Cashman also referred to their infield as complete entering the 2024 season, and would need an opportunity that’s advantageous for the team to pull off a deal. It was also reported by Marino on the podcast that the Yankees, among other teams, are linked to Shota Imanaga, with a lack of activity on the rental trade market for pitching as they gear up for the Yamamoto sweepstakes. It’s been made abundantly clear that they’re courting the Japanese ace as they roll the red carpet for a generational talent.

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Aug 4, 2021; Yokohama, Japan; Team Japan pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto (17) uses the rosin bag before playing Korea in a baseball semifinal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Following a three-year run in the Nippon Baseball League, where the 25-year-old ace won three-straight MVPs and Triple Crowns, Yoshinobu Yamamoto has created one of the most robust free agent markets we’ve ever seen. Teams including the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Toronto Blue Jays are all interested in acquiring his services, and it’s shaping up to be a two-team race as the Yankees and Mets have become the favorites to land him according to many monitoring the situation.

Steve Cohen is highly motivated to land Yamamoto, and the Yankees have made their desire for him extremely public, including a now-iconic photo of Brian Cashman giving him a standing ovation following his second no-hitter of the season. It’ll shape out to be one of the most lucrative bidding wars in free-agent history, and while signing him could put Torres on the trade block for financial reasons, as of right now that hasn’t become the case. Furthermore, extending Juan Soto could become a priority for the team soon, as trading what they did for the outfielder should motivate them further.

Team payroll will be heavily monitored over the coming weeks, but for now, Gleyber Torres has not been shopped or made available in trade talks. Perhaps a team makes an offer the Yankees can’t refuse, but with this all-in mentality they’ve adopted, it’s hard to see the team entertaining the idea of trading their second-best hitter from the year prior.