Yankees could leverage promising outfield prospect via trade

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, everson pereira
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the fact that the San Diego Padres are looking for premium-level talent in exchange for Juan Soto, the New York Yankees are unwilling to part ways with Anthony Volpe or Jasson Dominguez. Dominguez underwent Tommy John surgery after just eight MLB games, with an expected return timetable starting in June 2024.

The Yankees will have to supplement centerfield for the time being, which could lead them down a cost-efficient path like Kevin Kiermaier on a one-year deal, or they could leverage a prospect like Estevan Florial or Everson Pereira.

However, Pereira represents a key trade piece this off-season, especially for a star like Soto. The Padres reportedly want MLB pitching and prospects in addition, but Pereira could be a kicker in the deal, given his upside and defensive efficiency.

The Yankees May Have Something in Everson Pereira

At 22 years old, Pereira started last season in Double-A with Somerset, hitting .291 with a .362 OBP, including 10 homers, 31 RBIs and a 145 wRC+. He looked even better in Triple-A across 35 games, hitting .312, with a .386 OBP, .551 slugging percentage, including eight homers, 33 RBIs, and a 132 wRC+.

However, Pereira struggled when he was called up to the majors, but the difference in talent is significant, and he needs a bit more time to iron out his deficiencies and continue his development. Over 27 games, he hit .151 with a .233 OBP, including 10 homers. His strikeout rate ballooned from sub-30 % to 38.8% in the MLB, indicating he needs to improve his plate discipline significantly.

Everson has underrated power and good athleticism, posting a perfect fielding percentage across 234.2 innings, collecting two defensive runs saved. The Yankees view him as a potential starter in a corner outfield spot, if not a key rotational depth piece to start his career. However, if they do manage to acquire Soto, Pereira will be displaced, since both corner outfield spots will be taken up, and Dominguez will be the primary centerfielder once he returns from injury.

In a perfect world, the Yankees are either able to trade Pereira now at his highest value coming off a great minor league season, or he’s able to put together some success as a depth piece in 2024, boosting his stock and allowing them to leverage it to strengthen a position of weakness.

It’s never a bad idea to trade upside for pitching, especially if injuries take over once again.

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