Yankees do right by Gleyber Torres, avoid contentious arbitration mistake

Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game One
Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game One / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

You know what they say. Nothing good ever happens after 2 AM or during MLB's arbitration process.

Though we don't know Yankees GM Brian Cashman's bedtime, he at least avoided one of these common foibles on Saturday, as the team announced a one-year deal with Gleyber Torres that prevented the two parties from getting in a room and screaming at each other ahead of an all-important 2023 season.

Torres -- a Top 10 Second Baseman in the game, according to MLB Network -- was supposed to be the lone Yankee headed into an arbitration this year. Every other player, from Wandy Peralta to Frankie Montas, signed on the dotted line, and Nestor Cortes in particular graduated to a new pay grade in his first year of eligibility.

Torres and the Yankees struggled to meet in the middle at first, though, with the two sides apparently quibbling over $500,000. It's a tiny sum, in the grand scheme of things. It also could be the different between the Steve Cohen Tax Threshold and a normal life for the 2023 Yankees.

Luckily, right at the horn (well, after it, actually), the Yankees and Torres shook hands in silence. According to Joel Sherman, the two sides settled at $9.995 million after Torres requested $10.2 million and New York countered with $9.7.

Yankees, Gleyber Torres agree on one-year contract ahead of arbitration

Goodwill was especially important for Torres entering this season. Anecdotally, he's seemed to be significantly affected by outside circumstances and discomfort in the recent past. His year at shortstop appeared to tank his approach at the plate, and his worst month in years came in Aug. 2022, in the middle of a rebound season, right after he learned he'd been a part of trade rumors shipping him to Miami.

The less screaming between arbitrators and devaluing of Torres to save a couple bucks, the better.

Famously, Randy Levine screwed with Dellin Betances' head a few years ago, getting personal and blaming him for low ticket sales (?) to taunt him away from the negotiating table. Who knows what embarrassing things the team had planned for Torres' hearing? Luckily, we don't have to know or care.

Torres' future beyond 2023 in the Bronx seems uncertain, but the lineup can't afford to sacrifice him right now. And they certainly can't afford to tank his value by instigating an argument with him.