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Monday, February 19, 2018

For Yankees and Gleyber Torres, it’s about wins, not money | Newsday

We will see.

So do the math. If Torres’ major-league debut were delayed by 16 days or more, he would fall short of that critical full season, enabling the Yankees to squeeze an extra year from him before his salary begins to skyrocket through arbitration and then free agency.

For those in charge of talent compensation, such as general manager Brian Cashman, paying less for a longer period of time would seem to be the optimal course of action, as the Cubs did with Kris Bryant in 2015.

And yet Cashman insists the service-time clock will not be a factor if Torres is ready to help the Yankees on Opening Day, which is March 29 in Toronto.

“It’s not part of my evaluation process,” Cashman told Newsday. “We’re trying to win. If we feel that somebody could benefit from more time in the minors, we’ll make that decision at the end of camp. But I’ll take all the information from what I see and factor that into the evaluation. Every win for us is valuable.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:39 AM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gleyber torres, yankees

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   1. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5626846)
Thing is, you can reasonably suggest that Torres should get some minor league at bats due to his TJ injury and lack of reps in 2017, even if he has a scorching spring training.

(I'd rather Torres break camp with the Yankees, but I can certainly see an argument to having him get 100 to 200 reps in AAA).
   2. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5626856)
Thing is, you can reasonably suggest that Torres should get some minor league at bats due to his TJ injury and lack of reps in 2017, even if he has a scorching spring training.


Sure, I think that's entirely reasonable and defensible. Fact is, Gleyber would have been in the majors last season had he not been seriously injured, so any criticism of the Yankees here would be misguided.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5626858)
If he's the best 2B in camp in the Spring, he should start opening day. If he struggles due to the lay-off, he should go to AAA.
   4. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5626860)
The comment from Cashman is meaningless. Of course he has to say that, no matter what he actually thinks. Even if he plans on 100% keeping Torres down for a few weeks to play service time games. If he comes out and says it, he will have an MLBPA grievance on his hands before lunch.

His actions one way or another will show what he actually thinks.
   5. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5626868)
If he's the best 2B in camp in the Spring, he should start opening day. If he struggles due to the lay-off, he should go to AAA.


I can see that argument if he genuinely hits the stuffing out of the ball, and there are no discernible hitches in his swing and/or his arm is not giving him trouble coming back from TJ.

If Torres is the best 2B in camp, but he is no slam-dunk MLBer w/ the bat, I don't think it's that clear cut.
   6. Greg Pope Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5626890)
extra year from him before his salary begins to skyrocket through arbitration and then free agency


This isn't really true, is it? Holding him down 2 weeks will delay free agency for a year, but since he'll be super 2, it won't affect arbitration.
   7. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5626898)
I can see that argument if he genuinely hits the stuffing out of the ball, and there are no discernible hitches in his swing and/or his arm is not giving him trouble coming back from TJ.


I dunno, he hit .448/.469/.931 in spring training last year and I didn't think he should break camp with the team. He missed half the season last year, I don't know that a few weeks of hot hitting should dispel any developmental concerns for a very young player coming off a serious injury,
   8. Itsdrainageeli Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5626900)
I dunno, he hit .448/.469/.931 in spring training last year and I didn't think he should break camp with the team.
I wouldn't necessarily promote him either but last year the Yankees had higher paid veterans at both 2B (Castro) and 3B (Headley) and it was probably worth it to see if the veterans could produce. The same argument doesn't apply this year. The players currently blocking him appear to be Andujar/Wade/Torreyes. If those three all had a miserable spring training (and with respect to Torreyes, even if he had a great spring training), it would be a little harder to justify, especially if you see yourself fighting for a pennant and each at-bat counts. That said, I can't imagine the number of at-bats given to any of the other three ultimately having a material impact, but it's possible.
   9. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5626904)
7, 8 makes a good point.

The Yankees kind of need Torres this year (they didn't really need him last year), so again, provided he hits the stuffing out of the ball, there are no discernible hitches in his swing and/or his arm is not giving him trouble coming back from TJ, I could see him breaking camp with them.

But I certainly don't think he should break camp with the Yankees just because he is better than the other options at 2B.
   10. asinwreck Posted: February 19, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5626943)
The Yankees' key financial concern was resetting the luxury tax penalty so they can dive into the 2018 offseason free agent pool. That accomplished, if the Yankees think 162 games of Torres makes a deep postseason run more likely, why not go for it?
   11. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5626962)
I dunno, he hit .448/.469/.931 in spring training last year and I didn't think he should break camp with the team.

Girardi and his coaches reportedly thought that, from a baseball perspective, Torres was the best option at SS for the 1st month of the season while Didi Gregorius was out. Cashman supposedly vetoed the idea, and I don't believe Girardi really pushed it, since Torres had never played above A ball, and you'd be messing with his development, so they went with Ronald Torreyes. Still, last year undoubtedly left a strong impression.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: February 19, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5627006)
The excerpt provides another example of the way in which the press (and sometimes us, including me) bias our presentation towards owners. Salaries do not "skyrocket" through arb and FA. Rather salaries are grossly, grossly "unfair" through the first 3 years then start to approach fair over the next three. The author does at least have "squeeze" in there (but see below, he's wrong in his phrasing) but we could use phrasing along the lines of "allowing the Yankees to exploit Torres for an extra year before he is allowed to be paid what he's worth."

#6: Correct, he'll start arb after 2020 either way (barring major CBA changes, later minor-league time) unless they hold him down for about two months. You do expect him to get a smidgen less in each of the first 3 years than he would if he was a full-3 arb ... although with Bryant's award this year (and I think a few other examples), it may be the arbitrator is pretty much ignoring being 10-20 days short. And of course it would delay his FA by a year.
   13. Hank Gillette Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5627062)
The Yankees' key financial concern was resetting the luxury tax penalty so they can dive into the 2018 offseason free agent pool. That accomplished, if the Yankees think 162 games of Torres makes a deep postseason run more likely, why not go for it?


Still the cost/benefit calculation overwhelmingly supports sending him to AAA. Even if he were a 10 WAR player, 16 games would cost them maybe one win, and that’s assuming they would be playing a replacement level player instead. Of course, bringing him up after exactly 16 games would look suspicious, so I would expect them to leave him down for a month or so.
   14. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 04:56 PM (#5627087)
and/or his arm is not giving him trouble coming back from TJ.


That's not the arm he throws with.
   15. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5627136)
Didn't say it was (surely he got TJ for a reason, even if it's his non-throwing arm).
   16. Captain Supporter Posted: February 19, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5627142)
Torres should and will begin the season in the minors. This is an absolute no brainer. The chattering classes will criticize, but so what?

That's not the arm he throws with.


Yeah, but its one of the the arms he hits with. Easing him in is a matter of prudence and common sense.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 19, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5627149)
Let's see how often Torres plays in consecutive games, and how he handles it. Should be fairly obvious whether he's fully ready from the start of spring training, or not. IIRC, the Yankees have said he's good to go, so barring a setback, I'd expect him to get a shot at being the Opening Day 2nd baseman.
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5627151)
but its one of the the arms he hits with


Which I assumed was covered by "... he hits the stuffing out of the ball, there are no discernible hitches in his swing..." If he's hitting well with no discernable hitches, then what else would be affected by the aftermath of the surgery? Seemed logical to think it meant throwing, but I guess it was just redundant.
   19. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5627169)
18, this is BTF. Assumptions are made at your peril......

In all seriousness, I can see how you could read my comment that way. Having said that, isn't it possible for Torres to hit well but to also have his elbow act up on him/be sore?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5627176)
Torres should and will begin the season in the minors. This is an absolute no brainer. The chattering classes will criticize, but so what?


No, it's not an absolute no brainer. The Yankees will be battling Boston for the division all year. If he's the best 2B on the roster, it's stupid to risk losing even a single game while he's in the minors.

The financial difference between a 4th arbitration year, and a FA year is likely to be very small. The Yankees don't have to worry about that. If he's very good, they'll have bought out that year long before then anyway.
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5627183)
isn't it possible for Torres to hit well but to also have his elbow act up on him/be sore?


If his elbow is sore or acting up, he'll need rest or rehab, not AAA time.
   22. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5627191)
Well they are going to need all the wins they can get if they plan on catching the 2-time defending AL East champs, who just picked up another 3 wins in the form of JD Martinez.
   23. JRVJ Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5627192)
If his elbow is sore or acting up, he'll need rest or rehab, not AAA time.


Maybe. Or maybe he needs to come back slowly, with frequent days off, which is not entirely feasible if he's on a 25-man MLB roster.

   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5627199)
Maybe. Or maybe he needs to come back slowly, with frequent days off, which is not entirely feasible if he's on a 25-man MLB roster.

I think most position players come back from TJ surgery in six months. I've heard nothing about Torres being limited at all in spring training. In fact, he wanted to play winter ball.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:41 AM (#5627235)
Or maybe he needs to come back slowly, with frequent days off, which is not entirely feasible if he's on a 25-man MLB roster.

That's pretty feasible, at least two of Andujar/Wade/Torreyes will be around.

Now why is it 16 days? Cubs only kept Bryant down for 9. Change in the rules? And nobody cared how obvious it was with Bryant so there's no need for the Yanks to hold him down more than 16 days if that's their goal. (Well, possibly they figured an arbitrator would care.)
   26. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2018 at 09:09 AM (#5627254)
I think most position players come back from TJ surgery in six months. I've heard nothing about Torres being limited at all in spring training. In fact, he wanted to play winter ball.


Most players want to play through injuries. What a player (especially a young player) wants to do is not a particularly good decision point.


That's pretty feasible, at least two of Andujar/Wade/Torreyes will be around.


There's only 25 roster spots, the Yankees have a ton of relievers and outfielders. If Torres is to be on the MLB roster when the Yankees break camp, it is suboptimal to have two infield back-ups (they obviously need one UF, but not two).


   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5627341)
Most players want to play through injuries. What a player (especially a young player) wants to do is not a particularly good decision point.

But he fact that he felt well enough to play 3-4 months ago is a particularly good indication that he is fully recovered.

This "lingering Torres injury" seems to have been made up out of whole cloth.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5627343)
There's only 25 roster spots, the Yankees have a ton of relievers and outfielders. If Torres is to be on the MLB roster when the Yankees break camp, it is suboptimal to have two infield back-ups (they obviously need one UF, but not two).

12 pitchers, Sanchez, backup C, Bird, Torres, Gregorius, Andujar/FA, Gardner, Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Ellsbury is only 23. Plenty of room for Wade and Torreyes.
   29. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5627374)
This "lingering Torres injury" seems to have been made up out of whole cloth.


He had Tommy John surgery in mid-2017. He may well be fully recovered from it, but it is not "made up out of whole cloth" that he had TJ surgery.

While YMMV in re: TJ surgery recoveries, it would be grossly negligent for the Yankees not to show some level of concern with Torres' recovery from surgery (yes, it's his non-throwing arm, but it is still surgery, they still take a tendon out of some other part of the patient's body and then put it into the patient's elbow).
   30. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5627385)
12 pitchers, Sanchez, backup C, Bird, Torres, Gregorius, Andujar/FA, Gardner, Judge, Stanton, Hicks, Ellsbury is only 23. Plenty of room for Wade and Torreyes.


Provided they rotate players in the DH spot and somebody can back-up Bird at 1B, yes (last year Headley played a good number of games at 1B. Will those games be taken up by Sánchez or Romine?).

So yes, you're right that they could structure their roster to "carry" Torres a little bit if need be, at least early in the season.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5627394)

He had Tommy John surgery in mid-2017. He may well be fully recovered from it, but it is not "made up out of whole cloth" that he had TJ surgery.

While YMMV in re: TJ surgery recoveries, it would be grossly negligent for the Yankees not to show some level of concern with Torres' recovery from surgery (yes, it's his non-throwing arm, but it is still surgery, they still take a tendon out of some other part of the patient's body and then put it into the patient's elbow).


But the recovery time for position players is 6 months, and this wasn't even his throwing arm. There's been zero talk in NY of him being limited in any way. All reports are he is full go for spring training. The only concession is that he will no longer be sliding head first.

It's in no way negligent to let a fully healed baseball player play baseball per normal.
   32. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5627425)
The only concession is that he will no longer be sliding head first.


Why are they making this concession if everything is absolutely hunky dory?
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5627433)
Presumably to prevent a re-occurance, sliding headfirst is dangerous.

It's in no way negligent to let a fully healed baseball player play baseball per normal.


And he will, either in the minors or MLB. But for a guy with a handful of games at AAA who missed half the season with a serious injury, I don't think you can criticize a team for thinking AAA is the right place to start the season and make sure he's up to speed after missing so much development time.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5627437)
Why are they making this concession if everything is absolutely hunky dory?

Because he already injured a healthy arm sliding head first. They shouldn't let anyone slide head first. It's stupid.
   35. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5627492)
Presumably to prevent a re-occurance, sliding headfirst is dangerous.


Because he already injured a healthy arm sliding head first. They shouldn't let anyone slide head first. It's stupid.


I agree that sliding head first is stupid, but since this restriction is only being placed on Torres, that shows that the Yankees are indeed concerned that he is especially prone to injuring the very elbow/arm which he had TJ on.

That's pretty clear evidence that the Yankees have SOME extra level of concern about Torres' health going into spring training (at least as compared to other players)
   36. Cowboy Popup Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5627705)
Presumably to prevent a re-occurance, sliding headfirst is dangerous...

he already injured a healthy arm sliding head first. They shouldn't let anyone slide head first. It's stupid.


But it is undeniably the coolest way to slide into third so they should let him do it anyway.
   37. APNY Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5627716)
Well they just trade Solak for Drury, so i guess they want to give Gleyber more time
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2018 at 06:58 PM (#5627726)
Well they just trade Solak for Drury, so i guess they want to give Gleyber more time

I don't think this blocks Torres, just provides some depth:
The Rays, Yankees and D-backs have agreed to a significant three-team trade that’ll send infielder Brandon Drury to New York and outfielder Steven Souza to Arizona. FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweeted that Drury is on his way to New York, while Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic tweeted that the D-backs were set to land Souza. FanRag’s Robert Murray first got the ball rolling, reporting that second base prospect Nick Solak is going from New York to Tampa Bay.

Maybe they're worried about Torres not being ready - despite indications to the contrary - or just think Drury is a better depth option than Solak, but I doubt the Yanks think Drury is better than Torres.
   39. APNY Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:01 PM (#5627728)
Apparently Solak and Widener. What am I missing about Drury?
   40. Howie Menckel Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:05 PM (#5627730)
Drury has 132 MLB G at 2B, but also 62 in LF + 32 in RF, and 41 at 3B

   41. APNY Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5627731)
I've never seen him play, but by the numbers, in small but not tiny samples, he seems inept anywhere but 2B.
   42. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:31 PM (#5627741)
A very nice move by Mr. Cashman, adding much-needed depth and versatility to the bench and some insurance if Andujar or Gleyber experience any hiccups in their first significant MLB opportunities.
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5627742)
An update on some aspects of the trade, from the link in #38:
5:59pm: Arizona is also sending a pair of players to be named later to the Rays in the trade, reports MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (via Twitter).

5:47pm: The D-backs are also sending left-hander Anthony Banda, one of their top overall prospects, to the Rays in the deal, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that minor league righty Taylor Weidner is going from Arizona to New York in the deal, too.

Another Rays dump of a fairly modest salary.
   44. APNY Posted: February 20, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5627746)
A low OBP, decent power (for an IF) guy with a career 239/280/368 line outside of a park that needs a humidor. Yanks must see somthing

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