Yankees made $4 million offer to infielder, according to MLB insider

MLB: Game Two-Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Following the news that the New York Yankees had an interest in Enrique Hernandez, they made him a $4 million offer before he ended up signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Joel Sherman, the offer they made to Hernandez was also made to Amed Rosario before he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays. While the Yankees offered more guaranteed money, to the 28-year-old infield, the playing time he could get with the Rays was enough to sway his opinion despite the contract offers.

What the Yankees couldn’t offer Amed Rosario was an everyday role in their lineup, as their infield is set and their outfield is full of reliable options on the bench and in the Minor Leagues. This further shines a light on the fact that the team does not have much faith in Oswald Peraza, who they’ve seemingly been hellbent on replacing in free agency.

Amed Rosario Received $4 Million Offer From Yankees

MLB: Spring Training-Tampa Bay Rays at Pittsburgh Pirates
Mar 1, 2024; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Amed Rosario (10) singles during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Last season was a disappointing year for Amed Rosario, who posted an 88 wRC+ and 0.2 fWAR following a couple of strong campaigns with the Cleveland Guardians in 2021 and 2022. The right-handed hitting infielder was one of the best prospects in baseball when he came up with the New York Mets, making his debut back in 2017. In his four-year career in Queens, he failed to live up to expectations despite his enormous ceiling, posting a 90 wRC+ and 2.2 fWAR across 403 games before being traded to the Cleveland Guardians in a package for Francisco Lindor.

His struggles at shortstop have caused teams to try and shuffle him around the field, with the Mets and Guardians experimenting with him in the outfield and the Dodgers trying him out at second base. With a career -39 DRS and -57 OAA, the Rays are likely to try the Dominican-born infielder at other positions including the outfield, hoping to get his bat in the lineup specifically against left-handed pitching. Since the Yankees have always been able to hit lefties, that kind of role doesn’t fit what the team was looking for.

With the Yankees, it’s likely that Amed Rosario would have served a reserve role, which would have certainly pushed Oswald Peraza to Triple-A.

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees
Sep 22, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Oswald Peraza (91) throws the ball to first base for an out during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

While both Hernandez and Rosario have found themselves on other teams, the message that’s been consistent is that the Yankees are looking to upgrade their bench. The 23-year-old infielder posted a 53 wRC+ and -0.3 fWAR across 52 games, and when he got a full-time role as their starting third baseman down the stretch, he was similarly unimpressive. What the Bronx Bombers are looking for is someone who can reliably start in a pinch, and they don’t think that Peraza will be prepared for everyday at-bats without consistent playing time in Triple-A.

Peraza having a fourth MiLB option is likely the only thing keeping him on this team, and the hope is that he can build up some confidence or find a tweak that could unlock his profile. The Yankees are in a win-now window, and with the young infielder dealing with more shoulder issues, the team will need to look for someone to play across the diamond. It doesn’t seem as if that option currently exists on the 40-man roster, but perhaps someone emerges and impresses the team enough to grab a spot on their bench for Opening Day.

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