The New York Yankees are only two days away from the start of the 2023 regular season, but they still have several decisions to make regarding position battles and the future of several individual players. Selecting Anthony Volpe to the 26-man roster and naming him the starting shortstop was certainly a surprise, as was sending Oswald Peraza back to Triple-A Scranton until needed.
However, general manager Brian Cashman doesn’t envision Peraza spending much time with Scranton before an eventual promotion, which indicates things could change quickly in the Yankees’ infield. Ultimately, that leaves a few players on the fringe of the roster where the Bombers can extract the remaining value via trade.
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Two players the Yankees could trade this year:
1.) Gleyber Torres
One of the obvious candidates as a potential trade piece is Gleyber Torres.
Torres is coming off a bounce-back season at 26 years old, hitting .257 with a .310 OBP, 24 homers, and 76 RBIs. His Steamer projections have him playing 136 games, hitting .264 with a .329 OBP, 22 homers, and 76 RBIs with a 121 wRC+. Already coined as a top-10 second baseman in baseball, according to MLB.com, the Yankees know they can get something valuable in return for the former All-Star.
The Yankees have two years left of control until Torres hits free agency in 2025. That value must be explored, especially since the Yankees have been rumored to move Torres for quite some time.
2.) Oswald Peraza
I don’t anticipate Peraza being a trade piece, given the fact that the Yankees are high on his defensive qualities, but he doesn’t have much position flexibility aside from shortstop and a bit of action at second base. The reason he was ultimately sent down was his offensive contributions and discipline, which Volpe showed in spades.
Cashman did mention that Peraza would get some opportunities at 2B with Scranton, meaning he could eventually take over the position, putting Torres on the back burner. Nonetheless, if a team is looking for a starting shortstop with tremendous potential, he may have the most value of any player available on the Yankees currently.
Given that the team has already lost three starting pitchers, trading for a quality starter could be in the cards, where Torres or Peraza could be leveraged.
3.) Isiah Kiner-Falefa
When you look at the roster construction, Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s spot on the team is obsolete. He seems to be a primary utility piece at this point in time, having conceded the starting shortstop job to Volpe.
Despite having won a Gold Glove at third base several years ago, DJ LeMahieu still serves as the top utility option if any supplements are needed. The Yankees have been moving IKF around, including the outfield, and participating in catcher drills.
At this point, it seems they’ve been utilizing IKF to provide rest to the team’s starters, which suggests he doesn’t have a legit spot on the roster. If the Yankees find a trade partner, Kiner-Falefa would save them $6 million and maybe return a low-level prospect.
If I were a betting man, IKF would certainly be at the top of my list regarding a probable trade.