Our friends at Fansided's Yanks Go Yard recently proposed a mock trade in which the Miami Marlins sent budding pitcher Edward Cabrera to the New York Yankees in exchange for slugger Gleyber Torres. This proposal adds further fuel to the Torres-to-Miami rumors that swirled last season.
Miami Marlins: Responding to an Edward Cabrera-for-Gleyber Torres Mock Trade
This is certainly an interesting concept. In many ways, it mirrors last offseason's Luis Arraez-Pablo Lopez swap in which Miami exchanged a piece from their surplus of pitchers for an established middle infield bat.
Does a similar move make sense for the 2024 Marlins? While the offer is truly tempting, the wisest answer is no for the following reasons.
Torres' appeal is easy to see. He, like Arraez, checks several important boxes for would-be suitors. He is young, still only 26 years old. He is durable, appearing in 158 of 162 games last season (and 140 in 2022). He has impressive power numbers for a middle infielder with 25 homer in 2023, 24 in 2022, and a career-high 38 in 2019. And, he is a good overall hitter, boasting a .267 career batting average (.273 in 2023).
At first glance, he seems like the perfect addition to compliment Arraez, Jazz Chisholm, Josh Bell, and the rest of Miami's hitters. So, why would declining this deal be in the Marlins' best interest?
First and foremost is the contract situations of both players. Torres is due an estimated $14.6 million in 2024, before hitting his first free agency in 2025. This would rank behind only Josh Bell as the second-highest salary on the team.
While this mark is certainly in Miami's budget for next season, Torres' impending free agency is an anchor to a potential trade. If Miami were to pull the trigger, they would need to be prepared to sign the Yankees' slugger to a long-term deal with an annual salary north of $20 million per season. Otherwise, Torres would only be a one-year rental.
Juxtapose this with Cabrera, who is under team control until 2028, and the deal seems even more bleak. While the young pitcher's true upside remains to be seen, the 25-year-old starter has shown enough promise to draw interest from multiple franchises.
The importance of the contractual difference cannot be overstated. While Torres has the highest upside and is the better overall talent, half a decade of Cabrera's services are worth more than what would likely be only one season of Torres.
Additionally, adding Torres to the Marlins' depth chart does not meet a real need for the franchise. While his bat would be a welcome addition, Miami already has a second baseman in Arraez. Perhaps the club could shift Arraez to first, with Bell occupying the role of everyday DH. But this arrangement has limited positional impact.
While many remember Torres as the Yankee's shortstop from 2020-2021 (when he logged a combined 144 starts), it is important to note that he has not seen regular work at the position since that time. The young slugger has only started one game at shortstop since transitioning to second base at the beginning of the 2022 season.
Dreams of Torres solving the Marlins' void at shortstop are likely unrealistic, as his defensive metrics as a second baseman have been worrisome. The Marlins could find a spot for his bat relatively easily. But unfortunately, the club would still need to commit serious attention (and possibly other assets) to adding a shortstop in 2024 and beyond.
If Gleyber had a longer, more team-friendly contract situation, I would jump at the chance to add him for a player like Edward Cabrera. I would also be more open to the idea of a one-year rental if he was a proven defender at shortstop. However, the absence of both of these factors should tip the scales in favor of Miami retaining their budding starter.
Thank you for the thoughtful suggestion Yanks Go Yard! But we respectfully decline.