The hope was Gleyber Torres would make a serious bid for the starting second base vacancy in Spring Training. The expectation was there would be rust that needed shaking following a season-ending Tommy John surgery (in his non-throwing elbow) the year before.
The latter proved to be true as Torres never really found his stride. Both his glove work and bat lacked the explosive difference-making capabilities that have made him a top prospect for the last few years. Thus, it came as no surprise when the Yankees announced they were sending him down to start the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Now, he is the newest member of the New York Yankees and will make his debut today against the Toronto Blue Jays. That said, let's look at Torres' journey to the Show.
Cubs trade top prospect to the Yankees
The Cubs acquired Torres as an international free agent and in his tenure with the franchise, he gained a reputation as being a budding potential star. The problem for the Cubs was that he was still a few years away from making an impact in the major leagues. Bolstered by the likes of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, among others, the Cubs needed bullpen help to make a serious run for their first World Series in a century.
So when the Cubs made the Venezuela native Torres as the centerpiece in a trade for Aroldis Chapman with the Yankees in 2016, it was a win-win for both clubs. The Cubs got one of the most electric closers in the game with a fastball consistently at or over 100 miles per hour while the Yankees, still burdened by aging players and less-than-ideal contracts, began the process of restocking their farm system as they sought to build the next dynasty.
Since the trade, the Cubs got their elusive World Series, and the Yankees developed a top-five prospect in all of baseball while also bringing back Chapman via free agency that offseason.
Tearing up the minors
Torres could always hit.