Yankees have one valuable trade asset riding the bench

oswald peraza, yankees
May 1, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Oswald Peraza (91) hits a single in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees infielder Oswald Peraza is currently coping with a mild right ankle sprain, which caused him to miss the series against the Tampa Bay Rays. He is considered day-to-day, and the Yankees’ usage patterns before he sustained the injury during a stolen base attempt last week were somewhat inconsistent.

For now, it seems that he will avoid a trip to the injured list, so he should be available soon, possibly for the series against the Oakland Athletics. This raises the question: what is his role with the Yankees?

Before serving as a pinch runner on Wednesday, he was out of the lineup for two consecutive games, even though the Yankees’ starting third baseman, Josh Donaldson, was not healthy.

One might wonder if Peraza would be better off receiving everyday at-bats at Triple-A. For talented young players, playing time is far more important than anything else. Having Peraza, a legitimate prospect who could potentially be a long-term solution for one of the infield positions (second base, shortstop, or third base), on the bench is certainly not ideal.

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The Yankees need to play Peraza somewhere:

Of course, complicating matters is the fact that he hasn’t truly stood out. As of Monday morning, he is batting .188/.316/.219 with a 64 wRC+. He hasn’t hit any home runs yet but has stolen two bases and can contribute significantly in that area with his excellent defense.

Once he has fully recovered from his ankle injury, it would be in the Yankees’ best interest to provide him with regular playing time, whether in Triple-A or the majors. How can they showcase him to other teams if he doesn’t play?

The Yankees need to trade an infielder to address other problematic areas of the roster, such as the outfield or the rotation. Peraza and Gleyber Torres are the only realistic options.