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Is This Gleyber Torres' Last Year in NY?

by EJ Fagan

February 2024


NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.

Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.


Is This Gleyber’s Last Year in New York?

Torres is a free agent after the 2024 season. He mentions in the video that’s he’s preparing earlier in the offseason than ever. He doesn’t mention free agency, but I’m sure it’s a concern. He’s looking great.

I think we’ve all written off the potential for the Yankees to resign Torres to a long term deal. A year ago, when the Yankees had a surplus of infielder and questions surrounded Anthony Volpe’s ability to remain at shortstop, Torres seemed destined for another team.

I’m not so sure now. The Yankees don’t have an obvious long-term replacement for Torres. Cabrera and Peraza may not hit. LeMahieu is getting a little old for second. Jorbit Vivas profiles as a pretty low ceiling option. If Torres leaves, the Yankees may need to go sign some other free agent to play second. Why not stick with your pretty good internal option who will be just 28 years old?

Torres quietly changed his hitting approach in 2023. After striking out a ton in 2022, he quietly turned into one of the best contact hitters in the game, with a 15% strikeout rate and excellent walk rates. He didn’t hit the ball as hard as he used to, but still managed 25 home runs.

He maintained his strong contact numbers throughout the season, even as pitchers adjusted and starting throwing him more strikes:

If Torres can repeat his 2023 hitting approach, he could be a rare modern high-average hitter. There aren’t a lot of .280 hitters who can take walks and hit 25 home runs today, let alone ones who play up the middle.

My concern about Torres isn’t hitting. It’s defense and general athleticism. Torres is looking pretty big. He’s slowed down to well below average for a second baseman. His defense hasn’t played up after moving from short to second. He’s playable at second base, but barely. I’m very skeptical Torres can stick at the position for much longer. Given how he’s got one of the weakest arms in the majors and is too slow for the outfield, he would have to move to first base or designated hitter, where is bat won’t play up nearly as much.

As with all free agents, the question is ultimately one of price. I’d love to have Torres back on a relatively high-AAV, short-term deal. Something like 4 years, $100 million. But as a 28 year-old, Torres could be in much higher demand if he has a strong 2024 season. I think that any team which gives him a six or seven year deal will regret it pretty quickly, but someone might be willing to stomach bad defense. I could imagine Torres excelling when he doesn’t have to hit toward Yankee Stadium’s left field.

Either way, I’m excited for Torres in 2024. He looks strong, confident and mature. I’d bet on a big year. And please, bring the cameras along.

5 Kommentare

Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
09. Feb.

Being that the Orioles are now the Yankees toughest division foe, and the fact that Gleyber Torres OWNS Orioles pitching (whether the Orioles are bad or good), the Yankees need to keep Torres, if nothing else, so he can continue to destroy Orioles pitching.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
09. Feb.

Because of their complaints? Judge sticking up for them at the end of 2023, and based on the stats that Peraza had in September after openly ditching what was a being told to him up here, do not discount the hitting abilities of Peraza (or Cabrera). My question is: How does Casey Dykes still have his job here?

As for Torres, I've been a big believer the last couple of years of resigning Torres but also making him the 3B. Chapparo was a bad defensive 3B. So is Tyler Hardman. The Yankees don't have a decent fielding 3B in their system. Torres right now is better than either of those guys.

But the prospect to look out for if it's…

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10. Feb.
Antwort an

Do you think Gleyber has the arm to play third? He certainly didn’t at Shortstop. I think his defensive liabilities are best hid at second base.

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