Despite all the mainstream pundits telling fans they have no right to be upset about another 99-win team that disappeared in October, the New York Yankees have plenty of work to do this offseason to get their roster right and compete for a title next fall.
That starts with fixing the offense — and there’s a lot to handle there. Of the team’s nine offensive starters, only a few seem to be locks to return: Harrison Bader, Jose Trevino (who could be upgraded), DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton (and both of … them could theoretically be traded?).
Yeah. Not a lot of certainty on this roster.
At first blush, that might make it seem foolish to deal Gleyber Torres, a 25-year-old with two years of control left who … is what he is, at this point. Most months of 2022, he was an above-average, All-Star-caliber hitter. In August and early September, he lost the plot entirely, potentially thrown off course by — what else? — trade rumors surrounding his name.
October, previously where Torres shined, ended up a wasteland for he and the rest of the Yankees, and the Bombers went down meekly to Houston as a result.
Trading Torres and creating more chaos is probably the easier path than keeping him and navigating his eventual free agency, though. If the Yankees’ plan went right, Aaron Boone is going to have to juggle the use of both Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza in the infield — not to mention Oswaldo Cabrera, who is not an outfielder. Then there’s LeMahieu, who’s locked up for four more years, Josh Donaldson, who also needs to go but has a brick of cash weighing him down, and a natural first baseman.
Too many cooks. It’s the reason we tried to shop Torres last year, only for him to throw those talks in our face with an All-Star first half. It’s the reason the Yankees themselves tried to shop Torres at the deadline, potentially undoing all remaining good will with a whisper.
Let’s be realistic. Just like Luke Voit wasn’t a fit in Oakland last winter, Gleyber Torres probably isn’t going to the A’s this time around, either. Oakland has no motivation to add a Yankee who isn’t a minor-league prospect to their current roster.
Ditto the Pirates, even though it’s kind of fun to toss Torres into some sort of David Bednar trade. “Deal a local hero for someone who’s a free agent after two years? How can we lose?!” Yeah, no go from Pittsburgh’s end.
All told, these three teams feel like the best fits for a Torres swap.
3 Gleyber Torres trades Yankees need to pursue before 2023
3. Gleyber Torres to Miami
It’s fair to wonder how the Yankees’ season would’ve wrapped if the last-second deadline deal that sparked a Torres slump had actually been completed. Something tells us it actually would’ve gone … worse.
The Yankees might’ve had to surrender Torres and Oswald Peraza to receive right-hander Pablo Lopez, who posted a 0.39 ERA in March/April and a 2.78 ERA in May, followed by … zero months with an ERA under 4.00. Even though Torres slumped and the team refused to play Peraza, it still seemed like a Frankie Montas-style disaster waiting to happen.
Montas has another year of control to show what he’s made of. The Marlins have another shot at Torres and a chance to reconstruct the deal around a centerpiece that actually works.
What about … Torres and Peraza for Edward Cabrera, the 24-year-old Miami fireballer who held opponents to a .177 average this season, striking out 75 men in 71.1 innings with a 3.01 ERA.
Too rich? Yankees would probably have to surrender another prospect in that deal, too? What about Torres for Marlins No. 8 prospect LHP Dax Fulton and one year of the pesky Joey Wendle?
Regardless of the permutations, the Yankees were selling Torres last deadline and the Marlins were buying. This is still the most likely match.