Yankees: Who’s the odd man out when Gleyber Torres returns?

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 30: Brandon Drury #29 of the New York Yankees celebrates their victory with Neil Walker #14 during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on March 30, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 30: Brandon Drury #29 of the New York Yankees celebrates their victory with Neil Walker #14 during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on March 30, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

With rookie phenom, Gleyber Torres set to return from the DL on Wednesday the Yankees will have a tough decision to make to clear up a spot for him on the 25-man roster. Who will be the odd man out?

Since the emergence of Torres and fellow rookie Miguel Andujar both Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade have had a very difficult time trying to earn consistent playing time on the Yankees 25-man roster. They’re both talented enough to be on a big league roster but because of the team’s never-ending roster crunch, they’ve been victims of the Scranton shuttle all season long.

When Drury was called back up by the Yankees this past Friday it marked the first time since early April where he and Wade were both on the big league roster. However, with Torres set to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday that’s likely to change, though it remains to be seen who will be sent down as the corresponding move.

With veteran 1B/2B Neil Walker still on the roster and swinging the bat better of late that means in all likelihood, it will be Wade or Drury sent back to Triple-A. For one of them, that could also mark the last time they wear the pinstripes. With the trade deadline just eight days away one of the two could be a part of a package to boost the Yankees bullpen or starting rotation.

With Clint Frazier back on the DL, they’re two of the most expendable position players on the Yankees 40-man roster and will likely garner plenty of interest if management makes them available. Both still provide value whether they’re in the minors on in the big leagues but unfortunately, neither project to have futures with the Yankees in an everyday role.

Who is more likely to be traded?

If I had to guess who is more likely to be dealt between Wade and Drury it would have to be Drury. First of all, he is probably more sought after because of the success he had playing for the Diamondbacks in 2016 and 2017. He’s still only 25 years old and if his troubles with blurred vision are truly behind him his ceiling as an everyday player could be very high.

Teams who are selling will be looking for young big league players in return who can slide in and start for them right away to help them accelerate their rebuilds. With Drury, there’s less doubt as to whether he can do that as opposed to Wade. That’s not to say Wade’s ceiling isn’t as high, but he hasn’t had the big league success Drury has had during his limited action over the past two seasons.

Wade has looked more comfortable during this current stint with the Yanks in Torres’ absence, but I don’t think he could be the centerpiece in any potential trade. Drury probably can since most of the Yankees rumored targets are pitchers who are rentals so that shouldn’t cost them any of their top-tier prospects.

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Including Drury and another lower-level prospect could be enough to get an arm like Zach Britton and because of the organizational depth losing him wouldn’t really hurt the Yankees in the long run.

There’s also the debate of who is the better fit for the Yankees roster as it currently stands. Both bring a lot of versatility but Wade’s defense and his speed could be what helps him stay on the 25-man roster for the long haul. During Torres’ absence, Wade has shown his value both as a late game pinch-runner and as a defensive replacement for Walker at second base.

Drury is the better overall player at this point in his career but I don’t think he could contribute as much as Wade can coming off the bench. He’s not a plus runner or a highly touted defender at any position and if he doesn’t start a game he’s likely to remain on the bench for its entirety. That pretty much leaves him without a role on this year’s squad and on the teams in the years to come.

For Drury, it’s a shame that he’ll likely never get the opportunity to play every day for the Yankees after they acquired him right before spring training to be their starting third basemen. However, I’m sure right now all he cares about is getting consistent playing time no matter which big league team he plays for.

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The Yankees could always hold on to him and stash him down at Triple-A and call him back up in the case of an injury but at this point, they should just trade him. Not only would it benefit Drury but it would benefit the team as well. He is a solid young player with potential and trading him could help them acquire the impact pitcher they need for their playoff push.