Piecing Together A Trade Proposal Between The Nationals And Yankees For Gleyber Torres
Should Washington take a chance and trade for the struggling Gleyber Torres?
Making his MLB debut in 2018, Gleyber Torres took the MLB by storm, finishing third in AL Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .271, with 24 homers, 77 RBIs, and an OPS of .820. Seen as the future of the Yankees, Torres took his game to the next level in 2019, hitting .277, with 38 homers, 90 RBIs, and an OPS of .871.
Analyst viewed Torres in the same conversation with Juan Soto, Fernando Tatís Jr., and Ronald Acuña Jr.– the new face of MLB. Unfortunately, over the last two seasons, Torres seemingly had his skills stolen by “The Monstars”, and drastically regressed at the plate. Since the start of the 2020 season, Torres has hit 12 homers, with 67 RBIs and an OPS of .710.
Part of his struggles this past season stemmed from COVID and a thumb injury which cost him the majority of August. He also was playing out of position at short and wasn’t moved back to second till the end of the season. Once he returned from the IL, he slashed .292/.351/.438, with an OPS of .789. in September.
Before he moved back to second and finished 2021 strong, Torres was surrounded by trade circulation. New York still believes highly in Torres, but if he starts 2022 slow and he is made available, the Nationals should absolutely be interested in buying low on the 25-year old.
Why A Gleyber Torres Trade Makes Sense
Taking a flier on Torres should be an absolute no-brainer for Washington. He is projected to make $5.9 million in arbitration for this season and acquiring him won’t cause the Nationals to mortgage the farm.
Luis Garcia is entrenched at second, but he could always shift back to his natural spot at short. Defensively, Torres has -8 DRS and a -11.8 UZR at second. However, the Nationals would be leaning on him for his bat. In D.C., Torres wouldn’t have any pressure to produce and would be allowed to ease himself back to where he once was.
Torres’s impressive September allowed him to remind the Yankees that he can rediscover his 2019 form. But they need to keep in mind that since the start of 2020, he has a wRC+ of 96.
What Would A Proposed Gleyber Torres Trade Look Like?
Victor Robles is in a very similar situation compared to Torres. He had an impressive rookie season in 2019, hitting .255, with 17 homers, 65 RBIs, and an OPS of .745. Defensively in right and center, he posted 12 outfield assists, 25 DRS, and 7.0 UZR.
But since then, he’s posted six outfield assists, -4 DRS, and a -3.7 UZR. He’s also looked lost at the plate, hitting five homers with 34 RBIs. This season he finished with a 67 wRC+ and was demoted to AAA in September.
Despite this, he started raking at AAA (slashing .301/.370/.566 in 23 games) and still provides above-average defense. A change of scenery could allow for him to bounce back at the plate. The Yankees outfield is crowded with Aaron Hicks returning from the IL, but he is on the wrong side of 30 and constantly injured.
Robles is only 24, has three years left of arbitration, and is a defensive upgrade. Robles trade stock has taken fallen over the years so the Nationals would have to sweeten the pot. Enter Jackson Cluff and Seth Romero, the Nationals 19th and 24th ranked prospects per MLB Pipeline.
25, Cluff was drafted by the Nationals in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. A shortstop, he is known for his defense and at the very least will make the majors as a utility infielder. A broken thumb and a broken hamate bone in his wrist limited him to only 45 games this season. When he was healthy, he looked lost at the plate, slashing .190/.278/.278, with an OPS of .556 in 35 games at AA.
He was chosen to represent the Nationals at the Arizona Fall League, where he won Defensive Player of the Year. Against some of the top pitching prospects, he slashed .342/.432/.456, with a homer, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .745.
Cluff is expected to start the upcoming season at AAA and will need to prove his fall performance wasn’t a fluke, but he provides the Yankees with an elite defender who can also play second and third.
Washington’s first-round pick in 2017, Romero has struggled to stay out of trouble, and this past January he was arrested for a DUI. Recently, we wrote a proposed trade article for the Dodgers David Price and also included Romero in the trade. We wrote:
"Romero made his MLB debut in 2020, posting a 13.50 ERA in 2 2/3 innings. He broke his non-throwing hand when he fell down the steps, ending his 2020 season.This past season, he worked his way back, posting a 4.54 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings across Rookie League, A, AA, and AAA. Romero is MLB ready and could benefit from being turned into a reliever. A change of scenery can help the 25-year-old stay on track."
His secondary offerings have impressive swing and miss, making him an intriguing relief option.
Nationals fans may be unhappy about trading Cluff after his monstrous Fall League performance, but adding Torres would help speed up the team’s rebuild. Only 25, Torres has three years of arbitration left and showcased early on in his career the damage he can do at the plate. Romero and Robles both need to start over and have the potential to become key contributors.