Whenever I hear about Gleyber Torres all I can think about is that the Yankees gave up nothing to acquire him. It happened back in July 2016, when Yankees GM Brian Cashman did something he never does - he became a seller at the trade deadline. Cashman had some great trade pieces. One was Andrew Miller, who was sent to the Indians for Clint Frazier. The other was impending free agent Aroldis Chapman, who was sent to the Cubs for Torres. Chapman helped Chicago win their first World Series in 108 years, so they would do the trade again today. But man, it probably has to sting a little.
That’s because after two months with the Cubs, Chapman re-signed with the Yankees as a free agent. New York didn’t need him in 2016, so they got Gleyber. Now they have both. And while Torres was climbing the ranks in the minors (he also underwent Tommy John surgery last year) the Baby Bombers were developing Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, and Didi Gregorius. Then they traded for Giancarlo Stanton. Finally, Torres came up in April of this year, and he might be the best Baby Bomber of them all.
The 21-year-old could be playing shortstop for the most famous baseball team in the world. Instead, because the Yankees are so loaded, he’s becoming an All-Star second baseman before our very eyes. Through 33 big leagues games this season Torres is batting .319 with a .376 OBP, a 969 OPS, 9 HR, and 26 RBI. His offense alone makes him a stud. Then you factor in that he’s playing a premium position on defense, and playing it well. He’s been worth 1.7 WAR this year according to Baseball-Reference. That’s more than every Yankee position player except Judge and Brett Gardner.
Torres is also getting praised for his cool, calm, and collected demeanor on the field. He hit a walk-off homer on May 6th versus Cleveland, and then delivered a walk-off single this past Tuesday versus the defending champion Astros. Tuesday’s walk-off sticks out as particularly clutch because Torres was able to shake off an iffy day in the field with two errors. It’s just one at bat of course, but it’s the type of moment you want to see young players come through in. Torres is starting to have several of those just a month into his big league career.
Gleyber has been soooo good this year in such a short time that I find myself wondering if he’s going to be the most valuable Yankee of this inevitable dynasty. It’s a bit of a hot take to even suggest that when Judge, Sanchez, Stanton, and Severino all share the same uniform, but this is more of an acknowledgement of how good this kid can become. He’s only 21. He’s five years younger than Judge. Despite Tuesday’s errors he’s playing well defensively at an up the middle position. He’s already a complete player. If I had to choose today between a 21-year-old Torres and a 26-year-old Judge to build my team around....I might take Torres. That’s crazy. It’s only been a month. It's just been such an impressive month.
Of course, Yankee fans don’t have to worry about that. These guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. *Sigh* Instead, they can focus on what looks like a great AL Rookie of the Year race between Torres and Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani. New York entered the season with a stacked team. Now they have another incredibly talented young player. It’s a great time to be a Yankee fan. Fuck.