June 18, 2024

The New York Yankees have the second-largest payroll in MLB this season, with more than $305 million, according to Spotrac, and major owner Hal Steinbrenner has stated that this will be unsustainable for the organization in the future.

“I’m gonna be honest, payrolls at the levels we’re at right now are simply not sustainable for us financially,” he remarked during owners meetings this week, according to the New York Post. “It wouldn’t be sustainable for the vast majority of ownership (groups), given the luxury tax we have to pay.”

With those budgetary constraints and the team’s public desire to re-sign Juan Soto to a huge contract, it appears like the Yankees are ready to move on from several of their existing players. Gleyber Torres, a two-time All-Star second baseman, is a strong contender.

“That means it’s more than likely Gleyber Torres, who’ll be eligible for free agency this winter, won’t return next season,” Yankees journalist Bob Klapsich said in NJ Advance Media. “He’ll instead be replaced by the growing number of Yankees who’ve come through the farm system and are currently flourishing.”

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Torres is now on a one-year, $14.2 million contract, with free agency coming at the end of the season. Torres appeared to be on track for a long career as the Yankees’ keystone, with All-Star seasons and Rookie of the Year and MVP Award votes in 2018 and 2019, but his offensive problems this season have changed that.

He’s hitting.218/.295/.303 with three home runs and 52 strikeouts in 188 at-bats this season, a drop from his lifetime line of.264/.332/.444. Given his recent accomplishments and ability at a top defensive position, he appears to be in line for a substantial long-term contract for next year and beyond, but it is unlikely that the Yankees will offer him one.

“But as a relatively young player reaching free agency for the first time next winter, Torres could have put himself in position for an extremely lucrative multiyear deal,” Brendan Kuty of The Athletic wrote. “And he still stands a chance. But he hasn’t done himself or the Yankees any favors, and they may need to reconsider his playing time if he doesn’t improve.”

The New York Yankees Could Move on From Several Players to Clear Salary

Ultimately, every financial decision for the Yankees heading into next season will revolve around Soto, who is largely expected to earn at least $500 million. If Steinbrenner is determined to match any other offers for Soto while cutting the team’s overall payroll, any number of players on the roster might be sent to other teams.

Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com reported that Gleyber Torres, Alex Verdugo, and Tommy Kahnle have a combined 2024 payroll of $28.65 million. “All three are primed to move on as free agents.”

Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera, two young infielders, could be the top prospects to replace Torres at second base in the future, although the Yankees may look to other, less expensive possibilities in their farm system or through trades.

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