The New York Yankees have taken a conservative and patient approach filling the vacant left field position. While Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera will have a crack at the starting job during spring training, that hasn’t stopped general manager Brian Cashman from connecting with several free-agent options and trade targets.
We’ve discussed options like Bryan Reynolds, Max Kepler, and Jurickson Profar extensively, but one name that hasn’t been a headliner is David Peralta.
Though they’ve talked to free agents Jurickson Profar and David Peralta, and about Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds (the price is said enormous) and Twins trade candidate Max Kepler (“nothing serious there right now”) for left field, the Yankees appear destined to choose among veteran Aaron Hicks and youngsters Oswaldo Cabrera and Estevan Florial.Per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
What does David Peralta offer the Yankees?
Peralta is an intriguing talent at 35 years old. Given he’s a veteran, he likely won’t cost much on the open market, comparably to what Profar is asking, which seems to be out of the Yankees’ price range.
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The lefty hitter smacked 12 homers in 2022 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Rays. In fact, he hit all 12 with Arizona, recording a combined .251 average with a .316 OBP, 59 RBIs, and a 104 wRC+. Offensively, he has some power to his game and traditionally gets on base at about a 32% clip, which is nothing to write home about.
Defensively, Peralta played 927 innings in the outfield last season, recording a .991 fielding percentage, -4 defensive runs saved above average, and one out above average. He constitutes an average defender who did play every rep in left field, which fits the Yankees’ need.
However, this seems to be more of a due diligence connection than a realistic one. Peralta doesn’t move the needle much for the Bombers, so rolling with Hicks and Cabrera as the primary options certainly make sense. Nonetheless, if the Yankees want to bring in a cheap free agent that can compete legitimately, Peralta is a solution in that respect, but he should not be viewed as an upgrade.