The offseason is still in its early stages, but the hot stove might just be starting to emit some heat. This morning, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Seattle Mariners, who have already been active in the offseason trade market, are interested in Gleyber Torres.
It’s a quick mention in an article that touches on a few different topics and Sherman doesn’t yet have insight on whether a deal is even remotely close. Nonetheless, there are reasons to think a trade involving Torres is not farfetched. To begin, his strong 2022 campaign back at second base has almost certainly rebuilt his trade value after consecutive disappointing seasons from 2020-21.
Moreover, Torres is under club control through the 2024 season. His Super Two status means that he goes through arbitration four times rather than three, with this offseason representing his third jaunt. He also won’t break the payroll of the club acquiring him, as he is projected to earn around $9.8 million in 2023.
For the Yankees, moving Torres enables some flexibility with infield positioning. Theoretically, DJ LeMahieu could slot in as the everyday second baseman if Josh Donaldson is indeed starting at third base for the club in 2023. With Isiah Kiner-Falefa under contract for next season, dealing Gleyber means one less middle infielder.
Of course, there is another factor looming over the Yankees infield — two of them, actually, in the forms of prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. The club has had nothing but positive things to say about the ascendant Baby Bombers, both of whom are ranked at the top of the Yankees system. Peraza debuted late last season, and Volpe ascended to Triple-A for an extended cup of coffee. Hal Steinbrenner has gone so far as to project that Volpe may have a shot at making the big club out of spring training.
I’m personally not going to shed any tears if the club does not move Torres, however. He had a bounce-back season at the dish in 2022, finishing with a 115 wRC+ and rediscovering his power stroke. And if he hadn’t cratered in August, the back of his baseball card would look even better. Moreover, the move back to second base helped him out defensively as well, at least according to Defensive Runs Save (+9).
But at the end of the day, if New York and Seattle swing a deal that improves the Yankees, that’s business. Of course, this could all come to naught. Just because the two teams are talking does not mean they will end up anywhere close to finalizing a trade. So keep an eye on the stove. The water might come to a boil. Or not. Such is the nature of November trade rumors.