Though the “shortstop of the future” chatter has subsided significantly among fans and pundits, it appears that it might not have within the New York Yankees‘ organization.
Gleyber Torres will enter the 2021 campaign as the starter but will have a lot to prove after his lackluster 2020 and other previous unimpressive stints at the position when filling in part-time.
We’ve witnessed a solid few weeks of spring performance, but he didn’t exactly get a ringing endorsement from general manager Brian Cashman over the last few months. Cashman said previously that Torres is “probably a better second baseman” and that he came into 2020 summer camp out of shape. Not great.
Cut to mid-March, and we already have our first earth-shattering rumor about the Yankees’ potential plans in free agency come November.
According to Yankees insider Bob Klapisch, Los Angeles Dodgers star shortstop Corey Seager will be a target of the Yankees in the offseason and that’s why Hal Steinbrenner didn’t want to exceed the luxury tax threshold in 2020.
This could … change the entire complexion of the 2022 roster.
Now, this is just chatter on Yankees Twitter, which is citing Klapisch, but there’s no clarity on where this came from. Then again, it’s totally believable if Torres is unable to secure the job across a full 162-game slate this year.
We’ve also heard about the team’s interest in Francisco Lindor if he were to hit the open market, so it’s clear Cashman and Steinbrenner are keen on finding a top-billed shortstop if these guys don’t sign extensions and if the current situation on the Yankees’ 2021 roster doesn’t work out.
This scenario could also be plausible even if Torres succeeds. Perhaps they trade him for a controllable starter since Corey Kluber will be a free agent after this year and Jameson Taillon after 2022. There’s an incessant need for stability in the rotation.
Rather than spend big on a pitcher the Bombers aren’t exactly sold on, they can splurge on Seager and use an asset in Torres to potentially get what they want. It seems unlikely, but it doesn’t sound too farfetched.
Take from this what you will, but there’s clear and consistent speculation that the Yankees prefer to be at the forefront of the bidding war for the star-studded shortstop free agency class after this season. What that means? We’re not entirely sure, but we’ll certainly have more of a concrete idea if Torres doesn’t live up to their expectations in the coming months.