Phillies bring back Ronald Torreyes on minor-league deal
By Matt Rappa
Ronald Torreyes is returning to the Phillies on a minor-league deal.
The Philadelphia Phillies inked veteran Ronald Torreyes to a minor-league deal in early January of last offseason, marking their first signing of 2020. Friday evening, the team re-signed the former New York Yankees infielder under Joe Girardi to another minor-league pact, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
With the pace this offseason seems to be going so far, Torreyes could very well be the team’s first and last signing of this unprecedented year. It is believed that the new deal includes an invitation to spring training.
Torreyes, who turned 28 in September, appeared in just four games with the Phillies in 2020, slashing .143/.286/.429 with a one hit — a double — along with no walks and no strikeouts spanning seven plate appearances. A season prior, Torreyes appeared in just seven games and 17 plate appearances with the Minnesota Twins, producing three singles, an RBI and stolen base, and three strikeouts.
It was Torreyes’ three seasons (2016-18) with the Yankees that he gained much of his notoriety. While playing for the American League East team, he slashed .281/.308/.374 with 39 extra-base hits and 55 RBI across 221 games. Torreyes began his MLB career in 2015 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Venezuela native essentially served as an emergency backup infielder in the Phillies organization this past season, and will assume a similar role in 2021.
Torreyes joined the big-league team during the final month of the season to replace fellow veteran infielder Neil Walker. Just days later, he was designated for assignment, but cleared waivers and was outrighted to the alternate training site at Lehigh Valley to finish the season. Torreyes was not included on the team’s planned postseason player pool, if it were to qualify.
The reason the Phillies promoted Torreyes and parted ways with Walker mid-season was because he offered “more versatile defensive coverage,” with the ability to play both the infield and outfield, particularly center field, reports NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury. Torreyes ended up playing 11 innings at shortstop, six at center field, and three at second base in red pinstripes. He did not commit an error across seven chances.
Considering Jean Segura has been involved in recent trade rumors, the Phillies just might need another versatile infielder in their system. For now and into the early stages of spring training, Torreyes will at least be one of those guys.