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How can the yankees start anthony volpe and also keep gliber torres

March 12, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (77) doubles against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning during spring training at Jet Blue Park in Fenway South. Mandatory credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

If any objective truth needs to be put to paper, it’s that Yankees starting quarterback Jiliber Torres is worth far more than veteran Josh Donaldson. Donaldson gets $25 million for the 2023 season at the age of 37, but he’ll inevitably go after the year is up and his contract expires organically.

In a perfect world, the Yankees would have found a business partner for Donaldson, but no team in their right mind would take his high salary and declining efficiency.

Ultimately, the Bombers have a choice to make, considering prospect Anthony Volpe has been tearing up spring training and essentially forcing manager Aaron Boone’s hand in securing a spot on the 26-man roster.

How the Yankees can start Anthony Volpe while also keeping Gleyber Torres:

There were extensive talks that trading Gleyber Torres was the only way to get Anthony Volpe into the starting lineup. However, this is not true, and when it comes to winning games, this may be the worst case scenario. Unless the Yankees are able to get a starting left fielder or a quality pitcher in exchange for Torres, trading him now could only hurt the team’s offensive production.

Last season, Torres made a rebounding campaign, hitting . 257 with a 0.310 OBP, 24 homers, 76 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases. He posted a strike rate of 22.6% and a walk rate of 6.8%, enjoying his highest WRC+ since 2019 at 115. He also enjoyed a 2.7 WAR and is projected to have a 3.6 WAR based on his Steamer forecast for the upcoming season.

Torres can easily be considered one of the top five players in the squad and can only be expected to improve, having finally found his footing after two years of being relegated. With that being said, the Yankees are dominating him through 2015, and being a top-tier baseball player certainly indicates that it’s better to keep him than move him.

However, if the Yankees can keep Torres, another player must be sacrificed. Donaldson makes the most sense in the hot corner, despite his salary. Theoretically, Oswald Peraza or Volpe could end up playing third base while Torres keeps his job at second, and the ballpark sits with a new crop of young, developing talent.

Just to give you some context on how well Volpe has played lately, he hit .294 with .415 OBP, 1.003 OPS, 10 hits, and two homers across 34 spring training at bats. While his spring stats have to be taken into account, he combined a tremendous at bat and connected well, but his defensive proficiency was also on full display. While he played mostly shortstop and second base during spring training, there’s a strong argument that Peraza could have easily played the hot corner if not DJ LeMahieu.

Ultimately, the Yankees have to see if Peraza can hold out offensively at the MLB level since his pitch provides Gold Glove-level defense. If he can hit . 250 and stand on base at a 32% clip, and hit double-digit homers, the Yankees will be happy with his contributions.

At the end of the day, the Yankees are going in the direction of youth action, and halting that face-saving advance with Donaldson and justifying his outrageous contract seems like a step in the wrong direction.

Peraza and Volpe should start every day for the Yankees, and Torres has too much value to ignore. Trading Gleyber could easily be justified as his value would only go down from here, but moving premium players in favor of inflated contracts and aggravating talent seems like misconduct. That doesn’t mean Donaldson won’t be on the list and able to contribute help in other ways, especially if any of the youngsters struggle or injuries arise.

Having a veteran who can play third base and assist is definitely not a bad variable.

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