3 Yankees in danger of losing 2023 roster spot after Oswaldo Cabrera debut
1. Gleyber Torres
In what feels like the “End of an Era That Could Have Been,” the Yankees trading Gleyber Torres in the offseason doesn’t feel unrealistic in the slightest. He was discussed in multiple talks at this year’s deadline, if we’re to believe various MLB insiders, too.
Torres will eventually go down as one of the game’s most peculiar modern cases. An All-Star in 2018 and 2019 with a slick glove turned into an unserviceable/barely above-average player from 2020-2022. On some nights, he’ll belt homers and make web gems on defense like you’ve never seen before. On others, he’ll whiff constantly and choke spectacularly with runners in scoring position while seemingly losing every last one of his instincts on defense.
Fans are well aware that baseball is very much “baseball,” but the extremes in Torres’ game represent an unforeseen regression. Over the last three years, the wrong end of that “extreme” spectrum defined his game, too.
Anyway, with Cabrera, who can play second base and shortstop adequately (his two most trafficked positions while coming up in the farm system), in the fold, what dire need is there for Torres? Why not just give LeMahieu his full-time second base job back, shift Cabrera into the utility role DJLM currently holds at the moment (with the exception of the first base reps), and welcome a new starting shortstop after upgrading second base in house? Maybe IKF stays and the Yankees spend on pitching/another third baseman/another outfielder. Either way, it’s very easy to see the future without Torres, who’s done nothing to cloud it ever since he was briefly moved to shortstop on a full-time basis.
Torres’ 2022 rebound has halted rather quickly, and that’s because it seems like he’s now only able to truly reach his potential when the Yankees are at full strength. Any hit to their order of operations, and Torres slips back into the shadows, largely unable to do anything of note.
If that continues to be the story through October, the Yankees are better off finding him a new home and giving Cabrera and another youngster a chance in the middle infield.