Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across Major League Baseball. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in New York Yankees fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
It’s been a pretty awful week at Yankees camp, with players dropping like flies left and right. Brian Cashman dropped the bomb on Thursday when he revealed that Carlos Rodón would be shut down for a week or two with a left forearm problem, putting the Yankees’ prize free agent import on the shelf for Opening Day. Cashman also announced that relievers Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino would start the season on the IL. It then came out Friday that Harrison Bader was dealing with an oblique strain that also should have him out for the season’s beginning.
That avalanche of injuries could have influenced the responses to our first question this week, that of whether the Yankees would trade Gleyber Torres this year:
More than half of respondents felt that the Yankees’ incumbent second baseman would be plying his trade elsewhere by season’s end. It’s not an unreasonable stance. Torres was nearly dealt in exchange for pitching help just months ago at least season’s trade deadline. Now, with the Yankee pitching staff having suffered four major injuries (the three aforementioned, plus Frankie’ Montas shoulder ailment), the team suddenly finds itself again in a position where swapping out some infield depth for pitching could make sense.
Of course, injuries elsewhere doesn’t mean Torres is for sure ticketed elsewhere. Of the Yankees’ middle infield options, he has one of the strongest overall track records. The Yankees could try to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa instead, though it remains to be seen if he’d have any real trade value on the market.
Just as pressing from Torres’ perspective, though, is the presence of Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe in camp. Peraza played well during his late-season cameo in 2022, while Volpe has looked the part in spring, earning a strong recommendation from Aaron Judge. Peraza’s and Volpe’s talents are the most likely reasons that Torres could find himself in a different jersey later this year.
Our second question this week pertained to the World Baseball Classic, which has given us a lot of exciting, higher-stakes baseball here in mid-March:
Interestingly, fans didn’t pick the defending champion United States, nor two-time champion Japan, to take this edition of the WBC. No, the crowd sided with the Dominican Republic, an understandable decision if at least based on the stars populating the top of the roster.
Juan Soto leads the way, accompanied by young star Julio Rodríguez and Teoscar Hernández in the outfield. The infield is just as loaded, with Manny Machado, Rafael Devers, Wander Franco, Willy Adames, Ketel Marte, Jeremy Peña, and Jean Segura giving manager Rodney Linares a scarcely believable amount of talent to chose from when writing out his lineup. The DR’s pithing staff doesn’t have the same level of depth, but it is headed by reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcántara, along with other live arms like Cristian Javier, Camilo Doval, Luis García, and others.
In truth, any of the DR, the US, and Japan seem like very strong choices to take the 2023 tournament (to say nothing of other quality teams like Korea, Puerto Rico, and on down). Will one of the favorites reign supreme, or will an underdog make a run? If the first week of action is any indication, it’ll be a fun ride as we find out.
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