Yankees don’t plan on trading Gold-Glove caliber infield prospect

mlb: arizona diamondbacks at new york yankees, oswald peraza
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ offseason strategy is under scrutiny, with speculation rife about potential trades involving their infielders. Top names like Gleyber Torres and prospect Oswald Peraza have been in the rumor mill, though the likelihood of any significant moves remains uncertain.

Speculation Surrounds Infielders Amid Potential Trades

Recent buzz has suggested that the Yankees might entertain blockbuster trade deals, but only for standout talents like Juan Soto. While Torres, despite coming off an impressive season, has often been cited as a potential trade piece, the situation surrounding Peraza is less clear.

According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees seem reluctant to trade away Peraza despite the ambiguity of his role. The conundrum stems from their already packed infield, with DJ LeMahieu, slated for various positions and Anthony Volpe set as the returning starting shortstop, leaving little room for maneuver.

Peraza’s Potential Role With the Yankees in 2024: A Deep Dive

Peraza, a 23-year-old with a Gold Glove-caliber fielding reputation, has demonstrated versatility at second base, shortstop, and third base. Though LeMahieu’s utility role remains a constant, Peraza could find an opening at third base, contingent on his proving himself worthy of the starting position.

His recent stint highlighted some challenges; over 52 games, Peraza managed just a .191 batting average, a .267 OBP, and a .272 slugging rate. Despite these underwhelming numbers, he showed promise during brief periods, particularly in early September, when he boasted a .341 average and a 128 wRC+ over 44 plate appearances.

The Yankees face a dilemma with Peraza. He’s not known for heavy hitting, but his ability to make consistent contact without high strikeout rates is valued. The key to unlocking Peraza’s offensive potential could lie in granting him regular field time instead of limiting him to the bench.

Defense and Trade Considerations: A Balancing Act

On the defensive spectrum, Peraza’s inaugural 300 innings at third base were noteworthy, with a solid .964 fielding percentage and average advanced stats. His adaptability, highlighted by his debut at the hot corner, proves his defensive prowess, though his natural fit seems to be shortstop, a position currently secured by Volpe.

In the grander scheme of trade strategies, a talent like Juan Soto could sway the Yankees to put Peraza on the table. The San Diego Padres, for instance, would demand a substantial return for such a high-caliber player. While the Yankees possess the enticing prospects to broker a deal, certain names like Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, and Drew Thorpe might be non-negotiables.

Including Thorpe in a bigger deal could be realistic, but it would have to include a superstar like Soto. However, the Padres’ ultimate decision hinges on what they perceive as valuable in the Yankees’ rich farm system.

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