Are some fans being knee-jerky about Andrew Valezquez taking Torres’ starting job at shortstop? Maybe, maybe not … but the truth of the matter is that the Yankees probably won’t roll with a 27-year-old who has 86 career games under his belt over a two-time All-Star … no matter how underwhelming Torres has been this season.
Many will admit Velazquez’s defense has been a breath of fresh air, and it’s hard to disagree with that. He’s aggressive. He makes routine plays with ease (and makes them look good). He’s got a tremendous arm. He possesses the necessary instincts for a shortstop.
Torres? Not so much … but he’s been better. The Yankees might be right that he’s a better second baseman, but expect Velazquez to be off this roster the moment Torres is ready to be activated, which should be soon. He’s already homered at Double-A Somerset on Sunday.
Torres will be here in September and October (should the Yankees make it that far). Don’t get too WFAN-y now. This Yankees team does need Torres at his best to maximize their potential.
But what about after 2021? Well, that’s a totally different story.
What’s going to happen with Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres after 2021?
Look at the Yankees’ pipeline. Anthony Volpe is the Yankees’ top prospect, surging ahead during his incredible 2021 campaign. Oswald Peraza is a level higher than Volpe and continues to impress as well.
Factor in the imminent signing of No. 1 international prospect Roderick Arias and this year’s first-round draft pick in Trey Sweeney, and that’s FOUR top shortstop prospects. Are the Yankees trying to send a message to Torres? Or are they just stacking their farm system and will “figure it out” later?
It’s probably the latter … but either way, doesn’t it feel like Torres is going to have to take the “next step” at shortstop sooner rather than later?
Either way, it’s a shrewd two-pronged approach by general manager Brian Cashman. What’s the worst that could happen? You have a surplus of talent in your farm system to dangle in trades … or you have Torres to shop this offseason, if that’s the route you want to take. We’re not advocating for a particular scenario, we’re just acknowledging nothing comes across as unfavorable.
Something unsettling is going to happen this offseason, we’ll just leave it at that. The Yankees could bring in a big-ticket shortstop and move Torres back to second base … but then what happens to DJ LeMahieu or Gio Urshela? If they keep Torres at shortstop, then some prospects will be on the move. If they keep DJ and Gio and opt to go for a star shortstop or promote from within, then Gleyber could be gone.
We’re not trying to stir the pot … we’re just trying to let you know that something momentous surrounding Torres and his position will likely be altering the roster or organizational makeup in some way this offseason or by next year’s trade deadline. Be aware, that’s all we’re asking.