The Yankees don’t have to move off Gleyber Torres at shortstop immediately. After all, there are a ton of options after 2021.
Though it never feels this way under the hood in the Bronx, the Yankees can operate with the luxury of time when it comes to Gleyber Torres.
Certainly, it’s frustrating for the team to watch their 23-year-old MVP candidate under-perform on offense and play clunky defense, especially with the mirror image of Willy Adames and the Rays’ brilliance fresh in their minds. But if you gave any fan a truth serum, they’d admit that while the 60-game season provided troubling returns, the ramp up to regular season play was anything but normal.
Still, though, Torres did not look like a permanent starting shortstop throughout the shortened campaign, leading to a healthy enough dose of skepticism that Brian Cashman was forced to qualify his endorsement of Torres in his end-of-season wrap up.
There’s no way to say this without sounding like you’re willing to surrender to failure, but with a phenomenal shortstop class on the way in the 2021-22 free agency cycle, there is zero reason to bump Torres back to second base this offseason, throwing the entire infield off its axis. This would involve letting DJ LeMahieu walk, trading Luke Voit, signing Andrelton Simmons or another glove-first player…an endless cascade of moves.
And plus, who can confidently say that we’ve seen the very best of Gleyber Torres at short after the empty-stadium tournament of champions?
Therefore, the Yankees should absolutely hold off at least a year on making a drastic maneuver. But if 2021 passes us by, and Torres’ UZR and error total continue to climb as his discomfort becomes palpable, then the Yanks have a plethora of moves at their disposal. Our preference? Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.
Lindor will command a monstrous deal, as will Correa (and who wants that stink on us anyway?). Baez feels unlikely to move, and Seager, while a perfect fit, probably won’t leave Los Angeles, either.
That leaves Story: All-Star-level offense, defense, and dependability, at a lower price than Lindor, and highly unlikely to finish his career in Colorado. He’s by far the most likely player on this list to hit free agency with fervor after what we’ve seen from Nolan Arenado’s mega-deal, and he’s a perfect fit in pinstripes, just like his predecessor Troy Tulowitzki.
Story, just 27, would be widely accepted as being en route to a Hall of Fame career if he played anywhere but Colorado. In the 60-gamer, he put up a 2.1 WAR completely in the shadows, and has been good for 35 homers, 90 RBI, a .290 average and a .360 OBP consistently since his breakout. We’d love him just as much as we professed to love Arenado in pinstripes.
It’s not necessary just yet, but one more year of uncomfortable play from Torres, and there’s a clear trigger to be pulled here.