3 tough trades Yankees should make if they don't plan to contend in 2024

The Yankees have some elite pieces to move if they don't believe they'll be in the mix next season.
Washington Nationals v New York Yankees
Washington Nationals v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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1. Gleyber Torres

When spring training wraps in 2024, the best answer to the question, "What are the 2024 New York Yankees?" might be another question: "Is Gleyber Torres still here?"

If he's in the lineup, that likely means the Yankees finished the 2023 season disillusioned with Oswald Peraza, and either traded him over the winter or buried him in Triple-A, further diminishing his value. If he's gone, that likely means New York ended 2023 wildly impressed with Peraza (which would be out of character, based on how they've treated him so far), or that the Yankees' braintrust vowed to take a step back in 2024.

Torres has put together an excellent second half after he finished the first half with as many brain farts as game-changing homers. His OPS has continued to creep towards .800. His power has returned. He's ... still a right-handed hitter, and will never be able to provide the type of lineup balance the Yankees have long forsaken.

Perhaps most importantly, the Yankees have an absolute glut of names hanging behind him in the minors, from George Lombard Jr. to Trey Sweeney to Roderick Arias to Roc Riggio. Not all of these players will pan out. Most won't. But if Torres receives a $100 million deal, that'll render most of them largely irrelevant.

Either Torres should be traded, or the infield prospect glut should be cleared out with win-now moves. The Yankees will need to decide which direction is more important.