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.
The polls have come to a close in the latest edition of the Yankees’ SB Nation Reacts survey. It’s been a largely frustrating season in the Bronx, and as a result, fans aren’t feeling particularly optimistic about the ol’ Bombers.
The Yankees are over .500 at 54-48 but still sit in last place in the AL East, nine games behind the Orioles and 2.5 behind the Blue Jays for the final Wild Card spot. The Red Sox also sit one game up on them and both the Angels and Mariners are close behind, so even with Aaron Judge rumored to return tomorrow, they have a lot of work to do to simply make it back to the postseason, let alone compete for a World Series title. Fans are understandably skeptical of this ballclub that has struggled so much without Judge, and only 36 percent believe that this is a playoff team:
The math agrees with the doubt, by the way. FanGraphs’ playoff odds only have the Yankees at 32.5-percent likely as of Thursday afternoon. They haven’t missed the postseason since the great sell-off year of 2016 and they haven’t finished under .500 since 1992. Both streaks are in jeopardy, and even given how much the front office has defended manager Aaron Boone, his job security might very well end up in limbo, too.
The 2016 season was when Gleyber Torres first joined the Yankees’ organization, as he was part of the prospect package that sent Aroldis Chapman to the World Series-bound Cubs. Torres debuted with the Yankees in 2018 and has endured a rollercoaster stretch that saw him become sensational as a rookie and sophomore, only to plummet in 2020-21 with a failed stint (both offensively and defensively) as the starting shortstop. He’s now simply a steady bat at second base but with Judge out and most everyone else slumping, he’s been the lone consistent force in the lineup.
As such, Torres is the Yankees’ best trade chip should they choose to sell or just swap him to improve elsewhere. So should he go?
Because Torres still has team control through 2024, it’s not an easy question, and the results reflect that fact. The oh-so-narrow 51-percent majority has Torres on the move, but it’s basically a coin flip of opinion. Even if one doesn’t believe in these 2023 Yankees, they might think that Torres could be key to the pursuit in 2024.
Interestingly, in an MLB-wide Reacts survey that wasn’t solely directed at Yankees fans, the Yankees were still listed as the second-biggest potential buyer at the trade deadline:
Will the Yankees actually go all-in on this team, though? The front office really wants to win, but the team on the field is going to have to give them a reason to buy big at this junctur. They’ll face both the Orioles and Rays prior to the trade deadline itself on August 1st, so perhaps that will turn out to be the final test of their mettle. If they fail that, the only buying I would personally forecast is small, low-cost additions to make things a little more palatable down the stretch. Or perhaps a nice set of golf clubs for October.