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Why the Yankees said no to Torres, Wade starting in the Bronx this April

They weren’t popular decisions, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman explained why shortstop prospects Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade weren’t selected to replace the injured Didi Gregorius this April.

Yes, it had to do with development. Yes, it had to do with age. But no, it had nothing to do with the team manipulating service time rules. 

“In terms of Gleyber’s case, he turned 20 a month before camp opened,” Cashman told ESPN Radio’s The Michael Kay Show on Wednesday afternoon. “This guy is still someone that despite everything he’s done, he’s never played above A-ball. None of us has ever seen someone coming out of A-ball to the big league level and starting a major position, despite how good he really looks, so, I just feel it’s the safer play to have him go through the process. It has nothing to do with arbitration clock time and any of that nature. That doesn’t filter in. That stuff can filter in if they’re knocking on the door in Triple-A, I guess.

“I have a job to do, and it pays for me to be a little bit more cautious, or pays for us. He’s a high-end asset that I think has a chance to be here for a very long time and I would rather play it safe than sorry by taking the wrong step. If he’s really that good, he’ll be here sooner than later, but I’d rather him go through some of these levels that he has yet to touch. And it could come quick, and he might be here as early as this year, but I’d rather continue evaluating him. His first major league action I think will come down the line, but it won’t be this early.”

While Torres was crossed off the team’s list last week, Wade’s name was kept in the running until Wednesday. It was announced that the 22-year-old utility man will begin April with Triple-A Scranton, despite showing promising numbers at the plate this spring.

“He played Double-A and he obviously had a good year,” Cashman said of Wade, who hit .259 in 133 games with Trenton in 2016. “I wouldn’t say it was a great year, but he had a good year. He’s an exciting young prospect, he’s still finishing off his development, and so we felt we’d be best served and we would be in a position to get the best performance from Ronald Torreyes over the next 30 days than obviously promoting Tyler Wade and starting him and skipping him a full level out of the chute. It has nothing to do with arbitration at all.”

The Yankees haven’t announced if Torreyes will serve as the temporary fix at shortstop, but all signs point toward it. This means Starlin Castro will remain at second base, and Pete Kozma could be the backup middle infielder. Rob Refsnyder is still in the mix to make the major league roster, but with an inability to play shortstop, he wouldn’t solve the team’s dilemma.

Gregorius is expected to miss at least a month with a strained right shoulder.

If you want to connect with Tom Hanslin, email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @tomhanslin.