Yankees insider Joel Sherman put pen to paper and concocted a series of increasingly frenetic trades seemingly 1.5 minutes after the team's 2023 season ended. Or perhaps he'd been working on his wrap-up, fix-it column for weeks? After all, New York had been ostensibly eliminated since mid-July, giving him plenty of time for safe rumination.
Sherman receives credit, as always, for being daring enough to put his picks on the line. Unfortunately, the way he rose to his greatest challenge -- finding a home for Gleyber Torres -- doesn't quite pass the smell test.
This offseason presents a curious case of "Don't Tell Torres" for the Yankees. Remember the board game "Don't Wake Daddy"? It's the same basic concept, except the Yanks need to find a way to shop their 118 OPS+ second baseman without him ever finding out. If a deal gets close, but isn't consummated, and he learns about it, he'll wake up in a rage and funk his way through his walk year. It wouldn't be the first time a Yankee has devalued himself ahead of free agency, though typically players wait to struggle until they get their first big-money check in pinstripes.
Trading your second-best offensive player (who'd probably be a good team's fifth-best offensive player) is a tough way to improve your bottom-tier offense, but considering a contract extension is no sure thing, the Yankees are going to have to entertain it. The Mariners were a rumored destination last offseason before they filled their second base void (for a couple of weeks) with Kolten Wong. They'd make sense again, and trader Jerry Dipoto would never say no to an invitation. But ... why would the Yankees follow Sherman's lead and swap Torres for elite (yet volatile) reliever Matt Brash when bullpen arms are essentially the only thing they've developed successfully since Aaron Judge's debut?
Why would Yankees trade Gleyber Torres to Mariners for Matt Brash?
Certainly an A for effort and an A+ for uncovering the correct trade partner, but ... not sure about this one.
If Paul Sewald was available midseason in 2023, then Brash certainly will be this offseason. The Mariners know more about reliever variance than anyone, and shouldn't be afraid to trade a 25-year-old who struck out 107 men in 70.2 innings pitched while watching his WHIP rise to 1.33 (29 walks, 65 hits). Brash has piled on the appearances in his first two seasons, and the odds dictate that his arm won't get any fresher.
Would he be a quality addition to any bullpen? Absolutely. Would the Yankees trade their second-best source of offense for someone who isn't exactly a ready-made Michael King replacement? No go. Maybe toss in Everson Pereira and add Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic to the package, a trade fans have already noticed the "MLB Trade Value" simulator allows? That robot is a liar and a fraud, but it certainly cooks up some interesting ideas from time to time...