Last Monday, Torres was moved off of shortstop because of his endless struggles on defense, which forced manager Aaron Boone to reshuffle the infield again … just when we thought there’d be a more solidified picture when the injuries and COVID absences went away.
Boone believed moving Torres back to second base would help take the pressure off the young slugger, but he’s already made more defensive gaffes in his seven games there than anyone could’ve imagined. Couple that with the fact he has 10 RBI since July 23, and it’s clear this just might not be working out.
It sounds insane to cut bait with a guy who was a two-time All-Star in his first two MLB seasons and was among the league’s most untradeable players heading into 2020, but the narrative has shifted drastically, which could realistically force the Yankees’ hand.
Some might point to the star-studded free agent shortstop class this offseason. Will they pay somebody? It’s possible! We can’t rule out another scenario, though.
What if the Bombers sign a stopgap option at short, keep DJ LeMahieu at second, and let Gio Urshela stay at third base … as they wait for top prospect Anthony Volpe to rip through the minor leagues in 2022?
Will Anthony Volpe’s ascension help the Yankees cope with getting rid of Gleyber Torres?
Realistically, Torres can net the Yankees a solid return in a trade. He likely carries more value than LeMahieu and Urshela, too. Yes, they would be selling low, but again, you cannot wait for every situation to play into your hands. Torres has just given you a full season’s worth of largely unacceptable play.
There have been far too many questions about his instincts, baseball IQ/awareness, and hustle. He’s yet to quell any concerns regarding those deficiencies, and he’s had plenty of time to do it.
Or maybe they do find a long-term option in this year’s free agent class, move Torres elsewhere in a change-of-scenery deal (maybe for Cody Bellinger if the Dodgers are fed up?), and either keep Volpe to see if he can play another infield position or use him as a trade piece at next year’s deadline in a last-ditch effort to help the 2022 roster make a World Series run with the window barely cracked open?
Either way, the Yankees know they have insurance in Volpe with any of these scenarios. He’ll be starting 2022 at Double-A, which will have him knocking at the big-league door, and regardless of what unfolds, it’s bad news for Torres.