The New York Yankees have a year-long ticking clock attached to second baseman Gleyber Torres. If they'd like to avoid upsetting the apple cart, they can allow it to expire once next offseason hits. They're allowed to do nothing and hope that helps them to reap the benefits of Torres' above-average offense one final time before he tumbles into an uncertain future.
But, if they don't feel like "one season of baseball and a potential comp pick" is enough of a reward, there's certainly an opportunity to be proactive here. If they pledge to build a team where he isn't the lineup's second-best bat (and if they find an alternate path for Oswald Peraza), afive-year deal for Torres could make sense. If there's no world where they extend Torres, they could choose not to let it linger and rip the trade band-aid off in December.
But -- whatever they do -- they can't let word leak to Torres of their intention to trade him unless they complete the task.
The team's 2022 season was derailed the second Josh Donaldson saw a White Sox uniform and opened his mouth, but Torres' spectacular August slide certainly helped worsen the summer. It's long been suspected that his spiral did more than just coincide with a late personal link to the Marlins at the trade deadline.
Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty's post-2023, 10-question examination of the 2023 season's worst storylines further opened up on how Torres took the swirling deadline winds, and it turns out the rumor mill affected his life at home, too.
Yankees' Gleyber Torres can't be part of unfinished trade rumors
As Kuty revealed:
"At the 2022 trade deadline, the Yankees discussed with the Marlins the idea of trading Torres for starting pitcher Pablo López, and the sides were close. So close, in fact, that Torres forbade his family after that deadline from talking to him about trade rumors."- Brendon Kuty, The Athletic
The 2022 trade deadline never made sense without the added context of a Pablo López deal that fell apart at the final seconds. Trading Torres last summer would've left the Yankees dangerously short-handed on offense in 2023, but ... look yourself in the mirror. It's not like the extra ooph Torres afforded the Yankees brought them anywhere anyway.
Whether the Yankees would be better off with a López extension or a dangling Torres (or, perhaps, Luis Arraez, who was available and later traded for López?) is a discussion for another day. Torres, a 26-year-old de facto Yankees "lifer," clearly wasn't functionally the same after nearly having his professional future in pinstripes ripped away from him.
If the Yankees entertain such things again, they'd better make sure there's no last-second breakdown. Returning Torres to the roster in that state would be worse than selling low on him.