A South Side shakeup
White Sox get: 2B Gleyber Torres, 3B Josh Donaldson, $10.8 million
Yankees get: 3B Yoán Moncada, RHP Jimmy Lambert
You want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts.
With Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza in the Yankees’ near or immediate middle-infield picture, Torres is a good candidate to get moved this winter. And a White Sox team for which second base has been a problematic position for more than a decade is an obvious fit. Perhaps there’s a more direct swap to be had here in which the Sox send prospects and/or bullpen help to the Yanks.
But what fun is that? We’re here to think big, and this crazy proposal might help both sides.
The Sox get an obvious improvement and perhaps additional upside at second base in Torres. They move Moncada, who has had an up-and-down career to date. And while replacing him with Donaldson erases a lot of upside, it also frees the Sox of the $24.8 million owed to Moncada in 2024 (plus a $5 million buyout in 2025) in exchange for an $8 million buyout of Donaldson’s '24 deal. That’s some added long-term financial flexibility for a Chicago team in need of it. At minimum, Donaldson is still capable of giving them good defense at the hot corner.
Of course, pairing Donaldson with Tim Anderson would be, um, more than a little awkward (hey, we promised you this was nuts). But it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen players with a past forced to smooth things over after an acquisition.
Torres, meanwhile, comes with two years of contractual control and took well to the shift to second base while swatting 24 homers and 28 doubles with a .761 OPS. If that’s his floor, it’s a big upgrade for the South Siders. And if he can reach the upside that made him the centerpiece of the Cubs-Yankees Aroldis Chapman trade in 2016, that’s an even bigger plus. Factoring in Torres’ arbitration cost, the Sox take on roughly $3 million in '23 payroll in this swap.
What do the Yankees get? For one, a bullpen piece in Lambert, who is under control through 2027 and had strong results in high-leverage spots after a shift to the 'pen last year (2.90 ERA in 40 relief appearances). Even in sending half of Donaldson’s salary obligation to the Sox, New York shaves about $3 million off its '23 payroll. The Yanks get improved upside at third base in Moncada, who struggled (and was injured) in '22 but at 27 years old is a safer bet to return to above-average offensive production at this stage than Donaldson. Moncada also balances the Yankees’ lineup as a switch-hitter. The Yankees are taking on the $24.8 million owed to Moncada in '24 and losing the $8 million buyout owed to Donaldson for that season.
Hey, what do you know? Maybe Torres could wind up playing for a Chicago team, after all!