The Mariners have curiosity within the Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres, Joel Sherman of the New York Post stories. It is not identified if the 2 sides are significantly shut on any form of commerce, though Sherman theorizes that the M’s might doubtlessly supply the Yankee some bullpen assist in return — akin to Seattle’s deal for Teoscar Hernandez earlier this week.
Second base is an space of want for the Mariners, and Milwaukee’s Kolten Wong is one other identify reportedly on Seattle’s commerce radar. Acquiring a second baseman would permit the Mariners to maintain JP Crawford at shortstop, which president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has mentioned is the staff’s most popular situation for 2023 and past. This even extends to this winter’s shortstop market, as Dipoto is hopeful of discovering a top-tier shortstop who may very well be prepared to maneuver to the opposite center infield place to accommodate Crawford. Trading for a participant like Torres would permit the M’s to sidestep the free agent shortstop market altogether, and maybe avoid wasting payroll area to handle different wants.
Torres is a former shortstop himself, because the Yankees’ ill-fated try to make use of Torres because the on a regular basis shortstop resulted in some lackluster defensive numbers. A vastly improved staff protection was an enormous a part of New York’s success in 2022, and Torres was a part of that effort at second base, within the eyes of the Defensive Runs Saved (+9) and UZR/150 (+4.8) metrics. The Outs Above Average metric wasn’t as variety with solely a -1 score, but there may be actually little doubt Torres has extra defensive worth on the keystone than at shortstop.
How Torres’ glovework may translate to the 2023 season is an open query, given the incoming guidelines limiting defensive shifts. Still, the Mariners believe in Crawford’s skill as an elite (when wholesome) defensive shortstop, and he might doubtlessly make up for some or any struggles Torres may need below the brand new guidelines. It may very well be that Seattle additionally thinks Torres’ bat could make up for any shortcomings within the area.
Torres hit .257/.310/.451 with 24 house runs over 572 plate appearances final season, leading to a 115 wRC+. It was a stable bounce-back from Torres’ 94 wRC+ in 2021, as there was some thought that the defensive change would additionally assist Torre get extra centered on the plate. Torres hit for lots extra energy and made rather more laborious contact in 2022 than in 2021, though his strikeout and stroll charges really decreased to below-average numbers from the earlier season. That mentioned, there has at all times been some variance in Torres’ Ok% and BB% charges, even courting again to his greatest seasons (2018 and 2019), whereas 2022 marked the primary time Torres’ hard-hit ball proportion topped the league common.
On the monetary facet, Torres is arbitration-controlled by means of the 2024 season, and is projected to earn $9.8MM this winter in his third journey by means of the arb course of. As a Super Two participant, Torres has 4 years of arbitration eligibility as an alternative of the standard three, and his projected 2023 wage represents one other notable elevate from his $6.25MM determine in 2022. While the Yankees are one in every of baseball’s largest spenders, that does not imply they’re essentially prepared to maintain assembly this escalating price, particularly if they’ve any doubts that Torres’ manufacturing will proceed to benefit this price ticket.
Also, New York has some intriguing cheaper choices arising from the farm system. Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza every made their MLB debuts final season, and star prospect Anthony Volpe is anticipated to get his first style of the majors in 2023. Sherman writes that “the Yankees let executives on the GM conferences know they had been open for enterprise with their center infielders,” which means that each Torres and Isiah Kiner-Falefa may very well be dangled in an effort to each improve at different positions and to create some lineup area for the kids. The Yankees prevented arbitration with Kiner-Falefa yesterday, agreeing to a one-year, $6MM deal for the 2023 marketing campaign.
There is sufficient turnover potential that Sherman “can be shocked if at the least one [of Torres or Kiner-Falefa] was not moved” earlier than Opening Day. Other than the newly re-signed Anthony Rizzo at first base, there’s a whole lot of potential flux round New York’s infield, on condition that DJ LeMahieu continues to be determining the perfect plan of action to deal with the toe accidents that hampered him final season. If surgical procedure does turn out to be obligatory for LeMahieu, which may make the Yankees much less open to transferring a confirmed contributor like Torres. The Yankees appear able to open up the third base place by transferring Josh Donaldsonbut the mix of Donaldson’s offensive decline, his poor clubhouse repute, and his large contract (at the least $29MM remaining by means of 2023) may imply the Yankees might simply find yourself releasing Donaldson if they simply need to transfer on from the previous AL MVP .