What will be Torres’ fate? His partnership with the Yankees may be coming to an end.
The New York Yankees recently signed an annual salary contract with infielder Glaber Torres for the 2023 season to avoid salary adjustments. $9.95 million contract. According to MLB.com, Torres asked for $10.2 million and the Yankees offered $9.7 million, but the two sides found an agreement in the middle. After five seasons in the big leagues, Torres is now gearing up for his sixth season. At the end of the 2024 season, he will be eligible for free agency.
Torres, who made his Yankees debut in 2018, has been active as the Yankees’ main infielder for the past five years. He played in 576 games over five seasons, hit .265/.331/.455 with 98 home runs, 310 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Torres has been the player who has appeared in the most games in Yankees pinstripe uniforms over the past five years (2nd with 547 by Aaron Judge).
But the position continues to falter. This winter, his name went up and down several times as a trade target. The Yankees already have star players at each position. And top-notch prospects continue to grow. Torres became ‘stuck’ in the middle.
The Yankees’ infield includes first baseman Anthony Rizzo, second baseman DJ LeMayhew, and third baseman Josh Donaldson. All three players are super veterans with great careers. Although Torres is the “master of the Yankees’ roster,” he cannot outperform them in terms of reputation or annual salary. In addition, Anthony Wolf and Oswaldo Peraza, the top prospects the Yankees are expecting, are in a situation where they are aiming for the major league roster. Wolf, currently a member of Triple A, is ranked 5th overall, and Feraza, who debuted in the big leagues last year and recorded .306/.404/.429 in 18 games, is evaluated as the 50th overall prospect.
Of course, the fundamental problem lies with Torres. Born in 1996, Torres was originally considered one of the best prospects in the major leagues. He was even rated a third overall prospect ahead of the 2017 season. Torres, who was the best prospect of the Chicago Cubs, moved to the Yankees in the summer of 2016 in a trade with Aroldis Chapman and became the Yankees’ best prospect. Speaking of expectations, he was a player who had no reason to be pushed back by Wolf or Feraza.
It also worked. Torres hit .271/.340/.480 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs in 123 games in his debut season, finishing third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. He played a big role in the RBI. Torres, who ranked 17th in MVP voting in 2019, was also selected as an All-Star for the second year in a row in his debut.
But Torres’ momentum was dampened early. Torres, who was sluggish with .243/.356/.368 3 homers and 16 RBIs in 42 games in the shortened season, recorded .259/.331/.366 9 homers, 51 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 127 games in the 2021 season. His .257/.310/.451 28 homers, 76 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 140 games last season improved his performance a bit, but not to the level where he could restore his early debut rating. For the first two years of his debut (.275/.338/.511 62HR 167RBI 11SB), he was a power hitter well above the major league average, but the next three years (.256/.325/.406 36HR 143RBI 25SB) were above league average. stayed at bat
And that’s not all. Torres’ real weakness lies more in defense than offense. You can still expect to be above average on offense, but the defense has been consistently underrated since his big league debut. According to Baseball Savant, Torres, who has had five consecutive years of negative OAA (Outs Above Average), has already amassed a career OAA of -34. Torres, a center infielder, showed disappointing defense at both shortstop and second base, and moved positions virtually every year. The reason why the Yankees decided to recruit Isaiah Cainer-Faleppa last year was because they did not trust Torres’ defensive ability.
Also, if the option is included, Donaldson, Rizzo, and LeMayhew are all players who can stay with the Yankees as long as Torres (Donaldson) or longer than Torres (Rizo, LeMayhew) under the contract. After all, for the Yankees, the first player that comes to mind when thinking of ‘directing infield traffic’ is bound to be Torres. Torres, who just turned 26, is still a young and valuable player, but considering the Yankees’ team situation, he is gradually getting closer to ‘Gyereuk’. Maybe the Yankees are thinking ‘now is the most expensive time’ over Torres, who showed some rebound last year.
On February 1 (Korean time), ESPN selected players from each team 스포츠토토 who would be the most likely trade candidates this summer. Torres was also selected by the Yankees. Torres, who was the best prospect in the major leagues and the mainstay of the Yankees lineup, but whose position is gradually shrinking, will he be able to wear the pinstripe uniform? If there is no immediate change, Torres is expected to start the 2023 season as the Yankees’ main shortstop.