Man, there are so many more prevalent baseball issues facing not only the league but just the New York Yankees. Alas, this “problem” is not one to fret about, but eventually the Yanks will have to decide how to make room for top prospect Gleyber Torres.
The good news for the Yankees is too many good players is the best dilemma to face and even better news: there is actually a spot for him! Unlike the Texas Rangers situation a few years ago with Jurickson Profar, there’s an actual vacancy in the Bronx Bombers infield.
It’s third base.
Chase Headley is of no consequence and Todd Frazier can play the other corner. Frazier is a free agent this off-season, so he may not be back in pinstripes anyway. Headley has one more year on his deal that the Padres are thankful not to be paying. (Also, Yangervis Solarte is legit.)
Torres has and always has profiled as an everyday shortstop. The Yankees have Didi Gregorius there. Acquired in what has become an absolute steal of a deal for pitcher Shane Greene in 2014, “Sir Didi” is quietly one of baseball’s best shortstops.
Manning the position since he arrived, Gregorius is hitting .309 this season with 19 home runs in just 102 games. (That’s a long ball in about every five games.)
He’s also one of baseball’s best defensive players at the position. It will be hard to move the 27-year old, even for Gleyber Torres. Arbitration eligible for two more seasons, he’s here to stay.
At second base is Starlin Castro. Another Brian Cashman theft, Castro came at the price of pitcher Adam Warren, who would be re-acquired in the Aroldis Chapman trade that brought Torres in from the Cubs. It’s a small world.
Castro, also 27, is hitting .307 with 12 home runs and made the 2017 All-Star team. He signed a seven year deal with the Cubbies in 2012 that extends to an eighth year via a club option. He’s not going anywhere, except perhaps in a trade if he were to reject a move to third base.
Unlikely, but it won’t be Gregorius. So it could very well be Gleyber Torres.
The 20-year old super prospect was handling Triple-A with flying colors and appeared poised to make his big league debut at the onset of 2017 before a home plate collision sent him to the disabled list and a date with Tommy John.
He’s not a pitcher and it’s his non-throwing arm, so there are no white flags being thrown at his still kyber-crystalline stock. (Hat tip to anyone who gets the nerd reference there.) However, the time lost will surely see him start the 2017 campaign back in Triple-A, where he accumulated only 81 at-bats in 23 games.
The Yankees see this situation playing out as well and had stationed Torres at third base in six games at Double-A Trenton and nine more at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
While Torres’ bat was on fire, his glove was suffering some growing pains as he moved around the infield. Accompanying his nine appearances at third, he played short the same amount of times and ventured over to the keystone position five times.
He racked up five quick errors in Triple-A after committing zero in 32 games at Double-A. It’s perhaps his last learning curve left.
A decision will need to made eventually, but that’s not here and it’s absolutely there. It won’t be Gregorius, it could be Castro and it’s looking like it may be Torres, but at least there’s a position to be moved to. All three will be Yankees, and it’s a damn good time to be one.