The New York Yankees didn’t sign one of the big free agent shortstops this past offseason because they felt they had their future starter there in the organization. They passed on Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, and Marcus Semien because Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera and Anthony Volpe could become viable internal options in the not-so-distant future.
That’s why they traded for a stopgap in Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but he wasn’t really any good with a .261/.314/.327 and mediocre defense at shortstop. Volpe is still not ready for the majors, but Cabrera and Peraza broke through and made some noise in the majors this season.
While Cabrera was mostly used in other positions by the Yankees, Peraza showed he can be an above-average major league shortstop, hitting .306/.404/.429 in 57 plate appearances. Between Triple-A and MLB, he hit 20 home runs and stole 35 bases, adding some really strong defense, too. That’ll do.
For years, there has beeen rumors about the Yankees discussing Peraza’s name in potential trades, but they made him untouchable this season. Will that be the case again when the offseason starts?
The Yankees should hold on to Peraza
In reality, the Yankees shouldn’t use Peraza as trade bait. What they should do is making him the starter at shortstop going forward because he is their best option.
If they deal Peraza, the shortstop depth chart in the majors would be severely affected because it became evident a long time ago that IKF is not starting material. He is a fine backup with defensive versatility, but he shouldn’t be a regular, and trading Peraza would leave IKF at the top of the depth chart again (Cabrera will likely be needed in other positions).
The Yankees could look to deal Gleyber Torres, Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, one of their young pitchers, or even Cabrera himself if the return is worth giving him up. Peraza, however, is a starting caliber shortstop whose defense is ahead of his offense, but with time, he could develop into an above-average hitter with an incredible power-speed combo and strong fielding skills. You want to hold on to a player like that.