Thus far, it’s been a mixed bag, with the defense trending very much upward since the season’s catastrophic first week, and the offense catching up (slowly) to Torres’ projected levels, too (though his hard-hit percentage and exit velocity remain towards the bottom of the barrel).
The bottom line is, though, that the Yankees are going to use as much time as possible to evaluate the 24-year-old’s progress. He could be a cornerstone, after all.
In other words, at this point, we’d rule out the acquisition of the one superstar shortstop who’ll be available before the season even ends in Trevor Story.
Based on the Rockies’ record and front office shakeup, it seems likelier than ever that the team will test the waters with a Story trade midseason instead of watching their asset depart for nothing in the winter — a year too late, but still a wise assessment.
ESPN’s Buster Olney posited in a column published Tuesday, though, that the Yankees were still the most likely destination for Story. We just don’t see it.
Why a Yankees-Trevor Story trade won’t happen at the deadline.
For the Yankees to make a play for Story midseason, they would have to have already completed their assessment of Torres (unlikely), as well as absolutely determined they would prefer to add Story over 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager and Chicago Cubs wizard Javier Baez.
Seager could eventually turn into a Torres-level defensive question mark as he ages and Baez’s offensive consistency is lacking, so we might eventually draw that conclusion, too. But as a knee-jerk reaction, signing Seager still seems like an equally viable move because of his big-game pedigree and demeanor.
And, again, for what it’s worth, Torres’ advanced defensive metrics are all positive through mid-May. That’s no small victory.
Nothing Torres does in 2021 will quiet the questioners entirely, especially with such a star-studded crop of shortstops on the horizon.
But after a first week of the season that had us questioning the entire foundation of the Yankees’ operation, Torres has begun to climb offensively while shockingly standing out on the defensive side of the ball.
Dealing for Story midseason would be a cataclysmic shake-up for a team that seems to be begging for no more than a slight kick in the rear. There’s a chance the Bombers move on from Torres (or shift him) after the season, but a Story trade has never been less likely, despite what ESPN’s positing.