The New York Yankees have a difficult-to-solve infield logjam on their hands at the moment, as they attempt to slot a recovering DJ LeMahieu into the infield while still giving ample time to defensive whiz Josh Donaldson and their trio of top prospects.
MLB Network has a pretty easy solution for the Yankees, though: Play one of the top 10 second basemen in baseball at second base and call it a day?
Perhaps MLB's Top 10 Second Basemen list will serve as a wakeup call to Yankee fans who've already written off Gleyber Torres just because he doesn't knock 40 homers a year, as a few post-2019 predictions claimed he might.
For a team that requires an offensive infusion, and can't afford to sacrifice a big bat, removing Torres for Donaldson represents an obvious downgrade. That much is made all the more plain by the helpful folks at MLB Network, who ranked Torres 10th on their "Top 10 Right Now" list of second basemen.
Hold your nose while you look at the No. 1 spot, but the rest of the list paints a clear picture for the Yankees: don't trade away someone who's irreplaceable (until you know Anthony Volpe's ready).
MLB Network thinks Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres is among Top 10 second basemen. Will he even start?
2024? Sure, make sure Volpe and Oswald Peraza (and Oswaldo Cabrera) can hold down the middle infield and see what you can get once again. Donaldson will be gone at that point, though, and unless a deal is overwhelmingly in the Yankees' favor, they'll probably get more out of keeping Gleyber's 114 OPS+ rather than dealing him and hoping they can recreate him in the aggregate.
Again, per MLB Network, he's just a notch below Ketel Marte, someone Yankee fans have long dreamed of. Don't know what you've got 'til it's gone, huh?
According to Brendan Kuty's Opening Day lineup projection for The Athletic, though, he still believes the Yankees will truly enter "run it back" mode and bench Torres on Opening Day, just like last season. At that point, though, Donaldson was an unknown quantity and new acquisition who was supposed to be a 35-homer lineup center piece. Torres was persona non grata, having flamed out at shortstop and regressed over the two years prior. [Donaldson also walked off that day, by the way.]
Now? Donaldson is a glove-first aging power bat, and Torres is the definition of rock stead (except for, uh, after last year's trade deadline). He's also a player who performs worse when his role is messed with. Probably best for the Yankees to just run him out there nearly every day, considering outside consensus is he's one of the game's top options at the position.