While the headlines indicate the New York Yankees could target superstar Juan Soto or even Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, one under-the-radar option is Arizona Diamondbacks veteran David Peralta.
The left-handed batter is on a three-year, $22 million deal, earning $7.3 million in the last year of his contract. Peralta will be a free agent after the 2022 campaign, but he’s having a decent season, batting .236 with a 30% on-base rate, 12 homers, and 38 RBIs. At the very least, he’s playing better than Joey Gallo.
The thought is that Peralta could take advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium, considering seven of his 12 homers have come in right field.
The left fielder is struggling in July, though, hitting .190 with a 22.7% on base rate. Starting off the season strong, he’s tapered off a bit, meaning he could be a far cheaper alternative than Soto, Happ, or even Bryan Reynolds.
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The Yankees have lost interest in the Royals’ outfielders:
The Yankees were reportedly intrigued by Kansas City Royals outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Michael Taylor, but neither are vaccinated, stopping the Bombers’ pursuit given their need to play in Canada, which requires vaccinated players.
Acquiring Peralta would only take some low-level prospects given he’s struggling to a degree this season. However, his hard-hit metrics are exactly with the Yankees are looking for, featuring a 46% hard-hit rate, 12.2% barrel rate, 91.1 mph of exit velocity, and a 17° launch angle.
Posting a 45.5% flyball rate, the highest in his career, his HR/FB ratio is just 14%. With the short right porch, he might be able to take advantage and increase his homerun totals significantly.
Nonetheless, Peralta wouldn’t shake up the outfield that much, so the Yankees might be looking for a more prominent name to improve their chances at the World Series.
That is mainly why Soto and Happ are at the top of their list, but they could also use more starting pitching support. General manager Brian Cashman has a tough decision to make, leveraging some of his prospects to improve the team now instead of compromising the future.