The hole at the shortstop position for the San Diego Padres is larger than the Grand Canyon itself. Well, at least it certainly feels that way if you have rooted for this franchise in recent memory.
For seemingly ever, the Padres have lacked any consistency at one of the most vital positions in all of baseball.
Guys like Alexei Ramirez, Alexi Amarista, Clint Barmes, and Erick Aybar have manned short for the team in recent years. Each veteran provided only average, at best, production for the Friars. Before them, things were not much better. Though Khalil Greene and Everth Cabrera had short-term success, neither were able to maintain their play for any longevity.
In recent years the team has signed, traded for, and drafted many young shortstops. Fernando Tatis, Luis Urias, Gabriel Arias, Jordy Barley, Luis Almanzar, Jarryd Dale, Justin Lopez, and Kelvin Melean provide a future, but none are really close to major league service time. The two that are nearest (Urias and Tatis) have question marks about their ability to play the position for the long-term, so the Padres still need help.
Enter the New York Yankees. Yes, the Evil Empire. Or at least that is what they used to be called.
They currently have the overall #1 prospect in all of baseball, and he happens to be a shortstop. Gleyber Torres was acquired for Aroldis Champman from the Cubs at the 2016 trade deadline. That was an awesome return for the Yankees, but they have no need for a shortstop presently. Didi Gregorius has come into his own as the heir apparent to Derek Jeter. Gregorious is not going anywhere. In fact, there is talk of a long-term extension with him that will probably take place at some moment in the near future.
With Gregorius an established young star, Gleyber Torres was moved to second and third this season in the minors. He suffered an elbow injury to his non-throwing elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in June. He vows to return at one point in the upcoming season, but it remains to be seen if he can return to form right away. The slide at home which damaged his elbow was a freak occurrence and he is supposed to be able to return with no issues.
The Yankees are a team on the rise.
They were mere outs away from returning to the World Series in a year that they were supposed to be still building and cultivating talent. Players like Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge provide the fans with homegrown talent they can build around for years. On top of the burgeoning farm system, the team with endless amounts of money will soon have cash to spend. They are poised to be good for a long time, and that is a scary thought for a Padres team that is building momentum. Dealing Torres, who is deemed a “can’t miss” type of prospect is risky, but the Yankees have a history of pulling the trigger on a deal when the time is right.
The Yankees are strong, but they do have needs.
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