Once baseball resumes and the New York Yankees get back to work, extending Gleyber Torres should be high on their to-do list.
Over the past couple of seasons, the team has handed out contract extensions to Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino. Severino received a four-year, $40 million extension and Hicks received a seven-year, $70 million extension.
Little did the Yankees or Brian Cashman know that they were giving out a long-term extension to players that would be sidelined for extended periods of time with injuries. Hicks is recovering from Tommy John surgery last October and Severino is out until at least 2021 after undergoing the same procedure himself in February.
Hicks could see some game action this year, depending on when and how baseball resumes operations.
Injuries are hard to forecast, but one player that should be in line for a long-term contract extension is Gleyber Torres. Acquired from the Chicago Cubs in 2016 as part of the Aroldis Chapman trade, Torres is set up to be a fixture in the middle of the Yankees infield for years to come.
Last season, Torres made his second straight All-Star Game and ended up being one of the more durable Yankees in a season where the club was hit hard with injuries. In 144 games, he had a slash line of .278/.337/.535 with 38 home runs and 90 RBI. In his rookie season of 2018, he had 24 home runs and 77 RBI in 122 games with a slash line of .271/.340/.480.
There are not many middle infielders with the ceiling that Torres has. Just 23 years old, his primary position has been second base, but with Didi Gregorius signing in the offseason with the Philadelphia Phillies, Torres is scheduled to move over the short to fill the void. D.J. LeMahieu in the second and final year of his two-year deal with Yankees will play second.
Torres is working on a 2020 salary of $675,500 which is as team-friendly as it can get. It’s his final season before he’ll be arbitration-eligible and likely to receive a big raise. Torres is worth Cashman and the Yankees locking him up long term now rather than waiting and paying a bigger contract down the road.
Aaron Judge will also be looking for a long-term deal to remain the Bronx as well, but he’s starting to go down the road of being injury prone like Hicks and Severino. If the first two years in the Bronx are any indication, the Yankees have a star breaking out in front of them that is worth a long-term commitment sooner rather than later.