Gleyber Torres needs to prove to the Yankees that he’s the shortstop of the future.
Gleyber Torres, without a doubt, didn’t instill confidence in New York Yankees fans or the organization in regards to his future at the shortstop position thanks to a lackluster 2020 campaign. Though we’d be the first to admit it’s a tad hasty to react after a 60-game sample size, Torres didn’t exactly get a vote of confidence from GM Brian Cashman.
Then again, it might not matter what Cashman thinks. If DJ LeMahieu is the Yankees top priority, then Torres simply needs to be the answer at shortstop.
Many figured that the Yankees would be able to re-evaluate the situation after 2021 and have their pick of the litter when Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa and Trevor Story hit free agency.
But guess what? Lindor is now on the Mets, and the two sides, according to reports, should get working on a contract extension soon. MLB insider Jeff Passan said Seager is likely to remain the Dodgers shortstop after 2021. Baez seems to be the only player the Cubs want to keep around as they continue their teardown, as reports have suggested.
So that leaves Carlos Correa, who never really felt like a target for the Yankees, and Trevor Story, who will likely have suitors lining up to sign him if/when he finally hits the open market. If we boil it down to “realistic” targets in that 2022 free agency class, it’s pretty much just Story, and that’s not helpful for the Bombers.
The good news? This could turn into a very relaxed year for Torres with all of these high-profile shortstops slowly getting pulled back. The fact of the matter is that there just won’t be that many formidable options around if these reports/rumors continue to trend in that direction. It almost feels like the pressure is now on the Yankees because they need Torres to establish himself or else they’ll be looking around an empty room.
How the tables have turned!
It always felt like the Yankees’ best options to settle this were trading for Lindor or Story, shifting Gleyber back to second, and letting LeMahieu walk. But that was never really going to happen. Now, with one of them gone and Rockies manager Bud Black saying Story is likely to be with the team on Opening Day, it’s a foregone conclusion Torres will be the 2021 starter as the reports surrounding LeMahieu continue to seemingly fall in the Yankees’ favor.
Despite the dwindling outside possibilities, it’s not all that bad. The Yankees don’t want such negative lingering questions lying around throughout 2021 for the media to ask or speculate upon. It could be a blessing in disguise that Torres is the de facto shortstop of the future, assuming he doesn’t have a disastrous showing.
The status quo always felt like the answer and we’re continuing to see that it’ll likely be the case for 2021 and beyond.