Gleyber Torres knows the Yankees had trade discussions that centered around him at last season’s deadline.
The Yankees were interested in then-Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez but bowed out when Miami asked for Torres and shortstop Oswald Peraza. Lopez was traded this offseason to Minnesota in a deal that sent American League batting champion Luis Arraez to Miami.
The trade rumors negatively impacted Torres on the field. He posted a 28 wRC+ in the month of August, meaning he was 72 percent worse than the average MLB hitter. Torres said he lost confidence at the plate and it took weeks for him to regain trust in himself. He rebounded with a 172 wRC+ in September and October.
Torres and the Yankees avoided arbitration this offseason after settling on $9.95 million for this year. There’s still some uncertainty regarding his long- and short-term future with the Yankees. Hal Steinbrenner has previously said he’d like to see Peraza and No. 1 prospect Anthony Volpe in the middle of the infield, which means where Torres fits is unsettled. The Yankees also have a glut of infielders heading into the 2023 season. Likely one of Torres, Josh Donaldson or DJ LeMahieu will have to come off the bench; Torres was the one who didn’t start Opening Day last season. Manager Aaron Boone was asked at the start of spring if he considered Torres the team’s everyday second baseman.
“Yeah but obviously we have a lot of infielders,” Boone said. “We had a similar situation last year with DJ being that piece you can move around. Are you able to use the DH some with those guys? I expect him to be in a regular, everyday-ish role.”
That left Torres wondering about his future. The Athletic caught up with the Yankees second baseman at the team’s spring training complex to talk about his role, trade rumors, mentoring Peraza, playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and more.