In many ways, this was the best year of Ronald Torreyes six-year pro career. The infielder made his major league debut, hitting .333/.429/.500 in eight September games with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But since the season ended, Torreyes has become the latest unfortunate contestant on a designated-for-assignment merry-go-round.
Torreyes was claimed by the Yankees on Monday after the Angels had placed him on waivers after designating him for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for infielder Jefry Marte. To clear the roster spot for Torreyes, the Yankees designated for assignment outfielder Lane Adams.
If you’re sensing some deja vu, it’s understandable. In mid-January the Yankees DFA’d Torreyes to make room for Adams on the 40-man roster. Now they are doing the same move in reverse.
The Astros began Torreyes’ DFA drama in May. After placing him on waivers, the Astros sold Torreyes’ contract to the Blue Jays for cash. One month later, the Blue Jays DFA’d Torreyes again. This time his contract was sold to the Dodgers, again for cash.
The Dodgers kept Torreyes around for the rest of the season and even called him up to the big leagues. But when Los Angeles signed Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers needed the 40-man roster spot, so they designated Torreyes. This time he was involved in an actual player trade as he and lefthander Tyler Olson were sent to the Yankees for third baseman Rob Segedin.
Even with the trade, Torreyes stayed a Yankee for just three days before he was once again DFA’d to clear room for Adams. And now he’s a Yankee again after the Angels DFA’d him.
So if you are scoring at home, Torreyes has now been claimed by the Blue Jays, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and Yankees in the past nine months. The good news for Torreyes is that teams like him enough to claim him. The bad news is no team likes him enough to keep him.
Why does this happen? It’s because teams are hoping to find the slimmest of advantages at the margins of the 40-man roster. If just once a team can figure out a way to DFA Torreyes and get him to pass through waivers unclaimed, they will have added a potential big league utility infielder to their minor league roster at a very negligible cost.
It makes sense for teams, even if it means that Torreyes’ spring training address keeps changing. For now, Torreyes is headed to the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa. But there’s no need for him to start planning his trip yet.