The Yankees, if they don't plan to extend Gleyber Torres, probably have to trade their former All-Star second baseman and second-best hitter from 2023. But the exploration should've stopped long before it got to Fenway Park.
Behind the very first door in the "Have You No Shame? Department" sits Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman, twiddling their thumbs and waiting for Craig Breslow to arrive. Because, apparently, a regime change in Boston did very little to dissuade the Red Sox from being interested in Gleyber Torres, who could effectively close their revolving door at second base for 2024 (and beyond, pending extension).
Their interest makes perfect sense. Torres has acquitted himself well against Boston over the years, and had an All-Star-level bounce back season in 2023. If the Yankees intend to contend next year, they should probably let his arbitration play out and deal Oswald Peraza instead.
But he's too expensive for that, entering his final year with a projected $15.3 million salary. If he stays in New York, the Yankees will probably take him to court over that money. But Steinbrenner won't have to worry about that, because the trade market is large and includes the (shudder) Red Sox, who have reportedly reengaged their pursuit of Torres. In exchange, the Yankees will (probably) reawaken their Alex Verdugo chase, who was reportedly floated in a Clarke Schmidt trade that never materialized last summer.
Yankees, Red Sox talking Gleyber Torres, Alex Verdugo trades
According to Rob Bradford, sources indicate the two sides both tried to lay claim to one another's targets last summer, and plan to try again soon.
"According to major league sources, the Red Sox identified Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres as a trade target last season - with Verdugo being of interest to New York. It appears the teams might very well be looping back on that conversation this offseason.- Rob Bradford
Torres is viewed by some in the Red Sox' organization as an excellent fit, offering the kind of stability at second base the team didn't possess in 2023."
"Seems like" is such an evil term in the baseball rumor landscape. It often means, "This is happening, but I can't say it." Sometimes, it means, "Eh, I made it up. But didn't it make sense at the time?"
In this particular instance, Yankee fans had better hope that these names are being exchanged as part of two separate trades that never see the light of day, rather than being swapped for each other. "Schmidt for Verdugo" was bad enough -- for both on-field and off-field reasons. Fans haven't forgotten Verdugo's as-yet-fully-explained role as a witness to a sexual assault during his time with the Dodgers.
Needless to say, acquiring a player with a clouded past just a few weeks after giving both Jimmy Cordero and Domingo Germán their walking papers would be a choice. So would trading an integral piece of your own lineup just to get your hands on an immature player Boston is desperate to foist on some unsuspecting partner.
The Yankees and Red Sox almost never trade. Don't let this be the move you break tradition for.