The New York Yankees have an issue at shortstop with Gleyber Torres, primarily revolving around his defense. A 24-year-old, the Venezuelan has earned two All-Star appearances in four years and could push for a third in 2021, but his defense needs to improve if he wants to reach that accomplishment.
So far this year, Torres is hitting .219 with seven hits, but the sample size is too small to even consider. Defensively, though, he played 40 games at shortstop in 2020, earning a .933 fielding percentage, well below the .973 league average. This year, he’s settled in even below his 2020 number at .929.
Unfortunately, his inability to make routine throws has plagued his defensive development. Whether it be arm strength or inaccuracy, these issues aren’t being alleviated over time, as general manager Brian Cashman even indicated he is a better second baseman. However, the Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu to a long-term extension to play 2B, Torres’ natural position.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post believes the Yankees should call the Rockies and inquire about Trevor Story’s availability:
But I think the Yankees should call the Rockies today and offer Gleyber Torres for Trevor Story, because Torres’ defensive deficiencies at shortstop are not from a small sample size.
Of course, the idea of adding Story is fantastic, as the 28-year-old is one of the best shortstops in baseball. Having also made two All-Star appearances, Story is capable of being an elite player, historically averaging double-digit home runs per season. In 2019, Story logged 35 homers but saw that number dip to just 11 last year, still showing prowess in the category. He finished 11th in MVP voting, earning a .961 fielding percentage.
The primary issue with this hypothetical trade is that parting ways with Gleyber Torres would be silly. The team has control over Torres until 2024, and Story is projected to hit the free agency market after this current season. Not only would you be giving away a player with star potential, if not an already established one, with three years left of control and protection, but you’d only be gaining Trevor for the rest of the season and no guarantee of retention.
The Yankees are better off sitting still, for now, playing out the current season with what they have available and signing Story in free agency. They could even consider moving LeMahieu to first base, Torres back to second, and Story cemented at shortstop. This would allow them to utilize the value of Luke Voit and potentially trade for pitching.