Yankees got the best of both worlds in Gleyber Torres trade
Towards the end of the 2016 baseball season the NY Yankees were faced with a tough decision. Was it time to move some of their aging or high-priced superstars in order to buildout their pipeline of youth? The Yankees already had some highly touted prospects in their farm system, including Miguel Andujar and Clint Frasier, but the opportunity to secure one of the minor leagues top prospects, Gleyber Torres was hard to resist.
A trade that no one seems to mention today worked out great for both teams, when the Yanks traded flame throwing closer Adonis Chapman to the Cubs for Torres. Chapman was an intricate part of the Chicago Cubs breaking the curse of the billy goat as they won their first world series since 1908. Chapman was credited with the win in a crucial game 7 against the Cleveland Indians and it was history in the making.
Ironically, Chapman wasn’t the only Yankee hurler that experienced the boom-a-rang effect, as so did veteran Yankee pitcher Adam Warren. Both players spent a brief time on the Cub roster before returning to New York as free agents.
For Brian Cashman the Yankee GM, the outcome could not have been better, for in the end he landed one of baseball’s top prospects and retained one of baseball’s best closers and middle relievers.
After suffering a season ending injury during the opening of the 2017 season, Gleyber Torres underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a left shoulder that was injured sliding into home during a meaningless game. Many questioned why the Yankees would allow their highly touted prospect to slide into home head-first while others questioned how the injury might impact the career of an up and coming superstar.
Well, the early results are in and it seems that Gleyber never lost a step. Called up from the Yanks Triple A affiliate in Scranton (home of Dunder Mifflin) just a few weeks ago, it only took a few games for Torres to adjust to major league pitching.
During the Yankees recent series versus the world series champion Houston Astros, Torres proved his value in the field and at the plate. Rarely do we see a rookie stand out during such a critical series, but it was Torres glove that helped the Yanks win game three of the series and it was his bat that led them to a come from behind 6-5 win to take the finale.
The Yankee infield might be set for the next decade as hot hitting Didi Gregorius looks like one of the top shortstops in the game and rookie Miguel Andujar has embraced his role at third, leading the league in doubles and sports a .284 average. With Torres contributing with a .317 average and Didi at .333, the Yankee infield has demonstrated timely hitting early in the 2018 season.
Although Torres has yet to hit his first-round tripper and Andujar has just three home runs, Didi has filled the void launching 10 long balls in April. Most experts believe it will only be a matter of time before Torres and Andujar find their power and in today’s power-hungry game, it’s refreshing to see young players focus on the fundamentals of hitting, before being romanced by the long ball.
For Yankee fans, the future looks bright with names like Severino, Bird, Judge, Frasier, Torres, Andujar and the indominable Ronald Torreyes the teams super-sub.
One might wonder if George Steinbrenner would have had the patience and insight to allow Cashman to work his magic, but if you ask any Yankee fan they will tell you that winning with youth is more satisfying than using the free agent plug-n-method. All of the “Baby Yankees” seem to have the right attitude and demonstrate tremendous character both on and off the field, unlike their cross-town counterpart Matt Harvey. For many of these athlete’s success might come easy, but all the traps that come along with being a successful athlete while playing on the world’s largest stage, well that’s a different game and some manage it better than others.
As for me, I’ll share my opinion and use a quote from the great American poet, Bob Dylan, “Forever young.” After all isn’t the term FREE AGENT an oxymoron?