Mariners Hot Stove Hype: Yankees trade chip 2B Torres, FA OF Benintendi
The Mariners are seen as a potential landing spot for the big four free-agent shortstops, but they’re reportedly checking in on another big-name middle infielder as well.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mariners have had discussions with the New York Yankees about Gleyber Torres, a 25-year-old second baseman who posted a 4.1 WAR, 24 home runs and a .761 OPS for New York last season in 140 games.
So what should Mariners fans know about Torres? Someone who knows all about him and the Yankees is John Jastremski of The Ringer’s New York, New York Podcast, who joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Wyman and Bob on Tuesday for the latest Mariners Hot Stove Hype, which has Wyman and Bob talking to media members across the country about players who could end up in Seattle.
Jastremski thinks the Yankees will keep slugging outfielder Aaron Judge on a very lucrative deal, which could lead New York to trading Torres.
“I do think the Yankees could move Gleyber Torres. They’ve got a lot of youth coming up in the minor leagues,” he said. “And we just talked about the idea of paying Aaron Judge $40 million a year, so they may want to go cheap in the middle infield and play their kids and Gleyber Torres becomes expendable if you do that.”
And while Torres has shortstop experience, Jastremski stressed he is a second baseman, calling his shortstop days “a disaster.”
“He couldn’t field his position and it affected him at the plate and he regressed,” he said. “Last year, he was solid. He fields second base pretty well. He’s going to give you a mental lapse every now and again. But the guy when he’s right is going the opposite field and he’s hitting for power.”
GLEYBER TORRES TIES IT FOR THE YANKEES 🗽 pic.twitter.com/jdPFRcpYfY
— ESPN (@espn) July 28, 2022
Torres hit 38 home runs in 2019, but Jastremski said the infielder is likely a .270 batting average guy who will hit a little over 20 home runs and drive in 70-plus rins.
“He’s a fine player. And if you told me the Mariners are going to go get Gleyber Torres, I think you’re gonna like him,” he said.
And while Torres is a good player, Jastremski said the Yankees may also be willing to part ways with him due to him not meeting the organization’s lofty expectations.
Torres was a highly-touted international prospect who signed with the Chicago Cubs and was the centerpiece of a trade to New York involving star reliever Aroldis Chapman. And while Torres is a two-time All-Star who has had good production for the Yankees, Jastremski said he was seen as their version of Juan Soto with Washington (and now San Diego), Ronald Acuña Jr. with Atlanta and also Julio Rodríguez here with the Mariners.
“They thought Gleyber Torres was going to be that kind of player, but he never lived up to that,” Jastremski said. “So you could make the argument maybe a change of scenery would be a good thing for him.”
While Torres is under contract with the Yankees still, that’s not the case for outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who some think would be a good fit for the Mariners.
Jastremski thinks the veteran corner outfielder could “price himself out of New York” because the outfield market outside of Judge and the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo isn’t all that great or deep.
Jastremski thinks the Yankees would be wise to keep Benintendi because he’s a left-handed bat who puts the ball in play and is a Gold Glove-caliber defender in left field.
“So I think somebody could go and overpay for Andrew Benintendi,” he said. “I’m very confident Judge is back. I would put Benintendi coming back at like 35-65 in the ‘no’ department. I don’t think he’s back.”
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.