López was officially flipped to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Luis Arraez (also would’ve been a fun Yankee!), and will be accompanied on his journey to Minneapolis by two top prospects. It was a hefty price to pay for Arraez, who provides a drastically different lineup spark than Torres, a player who was rumored to be headed to Miami at last year’s deadline before the trade cratered (which led to his bat cratering).
Torres’ future in the Bronx is still uncertain, thanks in part to a second-half slide in 2022, but thanks in larger part to the team’s overwhelming number of young middle infield options, including Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera and Trey Sweeney (and don’t forget DJ LeMahieu, who needs reps, too). No one knows how long he’ll last, but most assume he will not receive the contract extension after 2024 that once seemed promised.
To sum it up: trade candidate? Not if the 2023 Yankees want to give their offense its best shot to succeed. Long-term fit? Not quite. And, if traded, where’s he going, and how does the move end up as anything but lateral?
Miami now has so many capable second basemen that they’re moving the incumbent All-Star starter (as voted) Jazz Chisholm to center field at his request, with both Jean Segura and Arraez in the fold. It doesn’t take a gumshoe to rule them out of the Torres chase now.
And, if his most aggressive pursuer has now moved on, who’s still in?
Gleyber Torres trade destinations after Yankees watched Luis Arraez go to Marlins
It’s … hard to come up with many, to be honest. It’s even harder to come up with a team that will make it worth the Yankees’ while to trade Torres now and not, say, after 2023.
Last-place teams like the Royals and A’s won’t want to take on big-leaguers with expiration dates in favor of young talent. The Texas Rangers could dangle the kind of young pitching the Yankees would need to complete a Bryan Reynolds trade, but they have Marcus Semien and Corey Seager in their middle infield, and they want Reynolds themselves. The Detroit Tigers believe they’re not far from contention and have a need, but do Matt Manning and a regressing Casey Mize move the needle? Would either pitcher even be available?
And, again … think of the offense! What is this doing to the offense?!
A “Torres and Prospects for Austin Meadows and Matt Manning” trade is the framework that seems to make the most sense here, and it … doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Torres will not be dealt to the Red Sox, or any other AL East team. Torres won’t be sent to the Diamondbacks for Alek Thomas or Jake McCarthy. There is no longer a left field upgrade on the market worth dangling Torres, unless someone absurd wants to get involved in a three-way Reynolds deal.
Miami’s infield splurge has left New York no choice but to keep Torres in place to begin the 2023 season, which was probably the correct move all along. It may have taken far too long (and the Twins jumping the line) to reach that conclusion, but results over process are what matter in the end.
Now, it’s up to Torres to come out strong and complete that process.