Gleyber Torres faces uncertainty despite stellar offensive act for Yankees

Gleyber Torres and his Yankees teammates celebrates after an astonishing win over the Brewers on Sept 10, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
Sara Molnick
Tuesday September 12, 2023

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In a period when the Yankees are embracing a younger generation of players, it’s worth noting that Gleyber Torres isn’t significantly older than the fresh batch of rookie players. Even though Gleyber Torres, who is 26 years old, has been the most reliable hitter for the Yankees this season, his future with the team is still quite uncertain and complex.

Gleyber Torres didn’t originate from the Yankees’ farm system. Instead, the team brought him on board from the Chicago Cubs during the trade deadline when he was just 19 years old and playing at the High-A level. Nevertheless, he nurtured his development within the Yankees’ organization, eventually evolving into one of the Baby Bombers and swiftly winning over the hearts of fans. He openly expressed his sentiment that the Yankees feel like his family.

“I feel really confident here, really comfortable,” he said. “I’ve known everybody since 2016. So, playing in this organization is an honor, first of all. It’s great when you play with those guys every day, you always want to win, and playing in New York is amazing. I know it can be tough, but I feel too like it’s part of the experience.”

Following his involvement in trade discussions last summer and the Yankees considering offers for him during the offseason, it’s noteworthy that Gleyber Torres, who has just one year remaining on his contract after this season, has managed to focus and have his most impressive season since 2019.

Gleyber Torres and his son watching his mobile at Yankee Stadium.
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Gleyber Torres has a good 2023

In his penultimate year of salary arbitration for this season, Gleyber Torres earned a commendable $9.9 million. Looking ahead to 2024, he could potentially secure a contract exceeding the $12 million mark. This prospective salary increase doesn’t appear excessive, especially considering Gleyber Torres’ impressive performance as one of the premier offensive second basemen in the major leagues this season.

Among players at his position boasting at least 500 at-bats, he is ranked fifth with a .339 on-base percentage and third with a .462 slugging percentage. Moreover, Gleyber Torres has stood out as one of the Yankees’ most reliable hitters during a year where Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, and DJ LeMahieu have all fallen short of expectations.

Given these factors, it would be prudent for the Yankees to seriously consider retaining Gleyber Torres and postponing any decisions regarding his future until the upcoming year’s trade deadline or offseason. This approach should be a top priority on the Yankees’ list of potential courses of action.

In a season where the Yankees’ lineup has experienced ups and downs, Gleyber Torres has been the one who has stayed steady and even improved recently. In the last 31 games, starting on August 1st, he’s been hitting really well. He has a batting average of .331. His OPS is 1.020, and he has hit 25 home runs this season.

Manager Aaron Boone remarked that what caught his attention was Gleyber Torres’ significant success. He added that considering Gleyber Torres is a young player at this stage of his career, this season appeared to be his most consistent one, showing fewer ups and downs in performance from the beginning to the end. Boone also pointed out that Gleyber Torres has been the team’s most dependable hitter throughout the entire year, especially given the injuries that the team faced.

One important thing to note is that Gleyber Torres has reduced the number of times he strikes out, which means he’s doing better at not missing the ball. His strikeout rate is now at its lowest point in his career, at just 14.2 percent. Also, his walk rate is 9.1 percent, which is the third-highest it’s ever been in his career.

Yankees star Gleyber Torres
AP

But his Yankees future is uncertain

However, there are still some criticisms or negative comments about Gleyber Torres that people have. As of Tuesday, he had a score of minus-two in Defensive Runs Saved while playing second base, according to Fielding Bible. This means that sometimes he makes great plays, but there are also times when he makes mistakes in his defense, even if they don’t always show up as errors.

Gleyber Torres is often very aggressive when running bases, but this can sometimes lead to mistakes. According to FanGraphs’ baserunning metric (BsR), he had his worst score ever, which was minus four as of Wednesday. This ranked him 12th lowest out of 138 players who qualified for the major leagues this season.

Considering all of these factors, Gleyber Torres has a 2.7 Wins Above Replacement score, which is the 10th best among all second basemen according to FanGraphs.

The Yankees have to decide if they want to give Gleyber Torres a big, long-term contract or if they should consider trading him this offseason. Another thing that makes this decision tricky is understanding what they have in Oswald Peraza. He’s 23 years old and has been up and down in terms of his performance at the plate during his recent time on the team. He’s mostly been playing at third base because Anthony Volpe is doing really well at shortstop.

Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees

If the Yankees believe that Peraza will be ready to play every day starting next season, they need to figure out where he’ll play. If he becomes the third baseman, it means DJ LeMahieu might move to second base (where Torres currently plays) or first base (if Anthony Rizzo is healthy). LeMahieu could also have a role where he moves around and plays different infield positions. Or maybe Peraza’s future is at second base.

For now, Gleyber Torres keeps saying he wants to stay with the Yankees, but he understands he doesn’t have much say in that decision. What he can do something about is how well he plays, and for the most part, he’s been a reliable and consistent player, which the team really needs.

According to Gerrit Cole, Gleyber Torres consistently performs well as an offensive second baseman and has been putting up excellent numbers for the team. Cole stated how enjoyable it has been to witness his progress over the past few years and how he’s returned to the level of production he expects from himself.

On a personal note, Cole said he wants to see Gleyber Torres continue to improve and take another step forward in his career, emphasizing the untapped potential he possesses. He described Gleyber Torres as a special player with great hand-eye coordination and a fun personality to be around.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Gleyber Torres faces uncertainty despite stellar offensive act for Yankees

  1. Torres has earned staying and the Yankees Cashman) hopefully doesn’t keep adding to his obvious mistakes, by not keeping him.
    Signing free agents like Rodon, to a 160,000,000 Five or six year contract even when he would
    Initially miss two thirds of the season and pay him, only to see that he has been barely adequate and most of the time not that, and give contract extensions two much older players like
    Rizzo( who I like) but you knew would have
    Injury issues, as well as DJ( who now in the last quarter) is performing well.
    Big G (who I like) but what this average???
    What’s his on base percentage? Yes he may hit 23?home runs, but he can’t run at all, doesn’t play the field well at all, so these are all Cashmsn decisions from the past. Let’s hope there are management changes, but unlikely since Hal and Cash are almost brothers.
    So at least meet Torres a really good hitter and player, unless Cash is bringing in at least one hitting all star and stud and at least one all star p
    Regular rotation and a stud closer, because Clay Hommes, is a good middle or eighth inning reliever but in no way a stud everyday closer.
    Just look at the closets the team faced all year
    They were studs. We of course use to have the best closer of all time I’m MO, but that was years ago already and Clay is not the answer.
    KEEP TORRES SND GET BUSY WITH SOME TRADES. You now have more of your your stud minor league players available than you will ever use, do go get a couple of really good starters in return and a dependable rotation # 2 pitcher behind Cole.

  2. Knowing the morons that run this organization, kiss mr Torres goodbye!!keep believing these bum-assed prospects are. The future,..not one of these farm-hands are even batting their own weight!!what am I alone in this world???get rid of that bum Austin Wells,..what are you idiots seeing,that iam missing???what a joke we’ve become!!!

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