The Yankees may have Oswald Peraza’s replacement already on the roster

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees learned some unfortunate news last week regarding Oswald Peraza and his future prospects of becoming the team’s primary utility man. Peraza entered spring with the assumption he would secure a key spot on the active roster, but a shoulder injury has derailed his progress, and he will miss the next 6–8 weeks.

Peraza has experienced multiple setbacks over the past two years, putting him in a spot where the Yankees may have to go in a different direction rather than continue his development in hopes of eventually becoming a consistent MLB player.

Now 23 years old, Peraza has played 70 MLB games, hitting .216/.298/.306, including three homers and 16 RBIs. With one minor league option left, the Yankees are simply holding him in hopes of eventual graduation, but it’s becoming more unlikely by the day.

The Yankees May Have a Young Utility Option Emerging

In his absence, the Bombers have considered adding a veteran utility man. Still, they may already have a young player on the roster who’s capable of making the transition this year. Also, 23, Jorbit Vivas, a former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect who joined the Yankees this off-season, has had a solid spring performance. Over 14 games, Vivas has hit .217/.419/.478, including two homers, four RBIs, and a 149 wRC+.

Last season, Vivas walked 69 times compared to 71 strikeouts, setting a career-high in steals and displaying some of the upsides the Yankees would like to see at the MLB level.

In fact, he never hosted a strikeout rate above 16.5% at the minor-league level and recorded a 10.6% rate with Double-A and a 15.7% rate in Triple-A last season. He’s not necessarily known for his power; he’s capable of making quality contact and driving runners in.

Defensively, Vivas is capable of playing both second and third base, but the Yankees have also tossed him in at shortstop during spring to test his resilience at multiple positions.

If the Yankees can keep costs down and elevate Vives as a core utility option, it may end up being a situation. It is entirely possible he opens the 2024 season with Triple-A Scranton, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were promoted sooner rather than later, especially since general manager Brian Cashman isn’t willing to spend money on a free agent acquisition.

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