Gleyber Torres is going to get his shot in spring training.
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was on WFAN Thursday afternoon and discussed a number of topics during his appearance on “The Afternoon Drive With Carlin, Bart and Maggie.”
The first question asked of Cashman regarded the future at second and third base in New York, more specifically Torres, the organization’s top prospect.
In an open interview, Cashman revealed that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders infielder would get a “fair look” at second base — and even third base — during spring training.
“Whether he’s ready to jump all-in at the time? I don’t know yet, but we have other guys competing with him,” Cashman said.
Some of those “other guys” that Cashman mentioned for the competition at second were Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes and Thairo Estrada.
Cashman said Torres “can swing over and compete with (Miguel) Andujar at third as well.”
There’s one big caveat, however. Cashman said he’d still like to make a significant trade for either an infielder or starting pitcher. That could influence what happens at second or third base.
“It’s something I wrestle with,” Cashman said regarding making more moves. “We’re still chasing (the Boston Red Sox), and so every game, every inning is that important. And that doesn’t mean you can’t break kids in, because last year we proved we could, and we’ve done it in the past, too. But I wrestle. Position player, pitcher and whatever our next move, if we don’t subtract money, it might be our final move.”
If that next and possibly final move is for a starting pitcher instead of an infielder, that likely means a combination of two players age 25 and younger with little to no everyday playing experience at the big-league level will be the everyday second and third basemen. Torreyes is 25 while Wade, Andujar, Estrada and Torres are all 23 or younger.
However, with a stacked lineup and strong pitching staff, whoever plays second and third base won’t be asked to do more than they’re capable of.
“If they turn out to be OK to good, that’s good enough because, essentially, that’s the best way to break in young talent,” Cashman said. “Where you’re not relying on them to be something that’s catapulting you to the next level.”
Former RailRiders manager Al Pedrique spent a little less than a month with Torres this past season, but it didn’t take long to see just how special he is.
“He’s a smart kid. His baseball IQ is way up there,” Pedrique said back in November. “He has the instincts to play anywhere in the infield, whether it’s short, second or third. This is a kid in the short period of time that we had him, he showed the ability to make adjustments on the field defensively and offensively.
“He’s not afraid to go out and play different positions, and he’s not afraid of the challenges that he’s going to be involved with during spring training. And that’s why it wouldn’t surprise me if this kid showed up ready to go and compete anywhere around the infield and make the roster.”
Adams 1st non-40-man option
RailRiders ace Chance Adams’ name also surfaced less than 10 minutes into the 45-minute interview.
Cashman said that Adams would likely be the first non-40-man option for the Yankees if there were an injury to the rotation at any point this upcoming season.
“Adams is an exciting talent,” Cashman said. “He gets asked about in all these deals. He’s done everything he needs to do in terms of performance levels in the minor leagues in a very short period of time. So he’s knocking on the door. We’ll see when that opportunity presents itself, because he’s ready for the next step.”
However, Luis Cessa and Domingo German, who are both on the 40-man, will also be in that group that will get the “first looks” with Adams.
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle