You know it’s a slow offseason when a trade between the Yankees and their hated rival Boston Red Sox gets cooked up out of thin air.
A little background. Former MLB reliever and new Boston “Chief Baseball Officer” Craig Breslow was at the GM Meetings in Arizona this week. Speaking with media, he addressed his team’s need for a “right-handed hitting middle infielder” and gave non-answers about upcoming free agent Alex Verdugo.
So, what does all of this have to do with the Yankees? Well, as Audacy’s Rob Bradford noted, “major league sources” named second baseman Gleyber Torres as a potential Boston target. In turn, since the Yankees need a lefty-hitting outfielder, Red Sox blogger Chris Henrique name-dropped Verdugo.
Now, does this trade work on paper? It sure does! The Yankees can just shift DJ LeMahieu to second base and put Oswald Peraza at third, or vice versa.
But by the numbers? Not happening. Verdugo hit a modest .264 with only 13 home runs last year and a slightly below average 98 wRC+…with tiny Fenway as his home ballpark. And he’ll somehow improve those numbers in not-much-bigger Yankee Stadium?
To say nothing of how Gleyber Torres finally seemed to figure himself out in 2023. He hit .273 with a respectable 123 wRC+. Torres also balanced that out with his power, adding 25 homers and dropping his strikeout rate (K%) a full eight points to 14.6%. He’s certainly an extension candidate heading into his contract year.
That said, there’s still every chance the Yankees trade Gleyber Torres this offseason. It just won’t be to the Red Sox for Alex Verdugo. He’ll be dealt for minor league talent, or maybe even Padres slugger Juan Soto!
But not for Verdugo, an overall average hitter who isn’t the cure for what ails the Yankees’ lineup. His being an expiring contract also makes him a summer trade candidate. Especially if he proves a poor fit in New York.
And when you add how #YankeesTwitter would probably explode over trading with Boston period? It makes it worth even less.