Yankees have a huge shortstop decision looming with Oswald Peraza

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Oct 20, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Oswald Peraza (91) throws to first base to complete a double play against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning in game two of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees got a glimpse of the quality prospect Oswald Peraza brings to an MLB-level game. Peraza was fantastic over a small sample size to finish the 2022 season, posting a .306 average with a 40.4% on-base rate, including one homer and two RBIs (over 18 games). He struck out at 15.8% and recorded a 10.5% walk rate, showcasing phenomenal defensive qualities and good contact hitting.

By most accounts, Peraza earned his way onto the 2023 roster, given general manager Brian Cashman elects to keep him off the open market this off-season. With Anthony Volpe climbing the ranks and likely being elevated to the top team next season, the Yankees could look to flip Peraza for quality pitching. Maybe it’s time the Bombers begin committing to their young talent rather than shipping them off.

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The Yankees believe Oswald Peraza can be a very good player:

Yankees hitting coach Dillon Lawson believes Oswald can be a quality MLB-level player offensively, let alone the elite defense he showcased during his lone outing against the Houston Astros in the ALCS.

Lawson gushed about Peraza’s quality as a hitter, per NJ.com:

“Not comparing him to anyone, but knowing what he does well, which is make contact. He has good major-league average (and) top-end exit velos for a shortstop. And his swing decisions have been improving year after year. I think a lot of this is settling into the big-league competition. I would say that it’s been exciting, maybe most of all, how he steps in the box and he’s aggressive. He’s not shying away from anything. He’s trying to take the action to the opposition to the pitcher, to the defense, and that’s good. That’s a good first sign. He’s not shying away from anything. That tells you he doesn’t feel like he’s overmatched or out of place and he shouldn’t feel that way because he belongs in the big leagues.”

If Cashman is looking for a stopgap, he already has his preferred option on the roster. Peraza can fill shortstop for as long as needed, giving Volpe plenty of time to work through Triple-A and prepare to make the jump.

Once Volpe is ready, manager Aaron Boone can shift Peraza over to the hot corner. The hope is that Cashman finds a way to offload Josh Donaldson and the $25 million remaining on his contract. Even if they’re able to find a team willing to take a portion of Donaldson‘s deal, it will be well worth the savings.

At some point, the team needs to stop dancing around their young players and provide them the necessary reps to become affluent MLB contributors. Just look at how the Astros committed to Jeremy Peña at shortstop and how well he’s performed during the playoffs.

The Yankees can do a similar thing with Peraza and Volpe down the stretch, saving a ton of cash in the process.