What should the Yankees do with Gleyber Torres?
It’s a question no one believed team brass would need to ponder, but Torres’ sub-par 2020 shortened season production (.243/.356/.368, 3 HR, 16 RBI in 42 games) has trickled over into the 2021 campaign and is even worse.
As we’re about halfway through the season, Torres is struggling at the dish and has been for quite some time. His overall totals are .238/.328/.308 with three homers, nine doubles and 26 RBI. He’s also posting a career-low .635 OPS, which is almost 100 points lower than his .724 OPS a season ago.
A demotion to Triple-A for Torres, just 24 years old, to figure things out should be in the cards for the Yanks. But, remember, we’re talking about a team that sits in fourth place in the AL East and doesn’t really have options right now to have Torres take a reset with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Plus, Tyler Wade was just optioned down.
To make matters even worse for the young Venezuelan, he’s once again a negative at shortstop in defensive runs saved at minus-5. After posting a minus-9 in 2020, he is a career -19 in DRS at short.
So this type of production puts the Yanks in a predicament, and that’s due to the shortstops that are or will be on the market.
Trevor Story is the first that comes to mind, as the Colorado Rockies continue to falter and he is their crown jewel that is due a new contract after the season. Many believe he will be moved before the July 30 trade deadline, and being one of the best power-hitting infielders in the game, there should be suitors.
Could the Yanks be among them? Possibly. It would take a haul and GM Brian Cashman has been getting strict directive to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold. Story is also a free agent at the end of the year, so they could just wait until that comes if interested.
Also joining Story in potential free agency after the 2021 season is Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager and Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa.
Having those types of options and more (San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford continues to play a solid short and produce at the dish) doesn’t help Torres’ case whatsoever.
It’s an awkward spot to be in for No. 25 considering he’s still young and sometimes players get into a funk that they have to play out. But the truth of the matter is the Yankees are one of the worst under-achievers in MLB thus far, and that never sits well with the Steinbrenner family and a franchise that expects to be in playoff contention each year.
If the Yankees continue to “fall like a stone,” as Cashman put it earlier, moves to get better in the immediate — New York has a championship window with Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge and others all on the books — can be made.
Torres, then, would do himself a huge favor if he could turn the tides and get back to his power hitting self that is impactful in the middle of the lineup. Easier said than done, I know, but the clock is ticking on his time as the team’s shortstop of the future with multiple All-Star shortstops available — something that won’t be seen for quite some time.
His play is making the clock’s hands turn a little faster by the day.