Yankees made an offer nearing $4 million to utilityman, according to MLB insider

MLB: NLDS-Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The news that the Yankees tried to sign Kiké Hernandez came as a shock due to the lack of rumored interest from New York, but it was revealed that they were the runner-up for the versatile utilityman’s services. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yankees made an offer nearing $4 million, but Hernandez chose to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year $4 million deal instead. This is also notable because there’s a 110% tax on any expense the Yankees make, so they were willing to make what would have been a nearly $8 million investment for bench depth.

Oswald Peraza, who was expected to be a lock for the reserve infield job on their bench, is still dealing with shoulder injuries and has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Yankees, opening up the door for some interesting scenarios in free agency.

Interest in Kiké Hernández Could Hint at Yankees’ Thoughts on Bench

MLB: NLDS-Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
Oct 9, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Enrique Hernandez (8) hits a RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth inning for game two of the NLDS for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Kiké Hernández is an interesting player to have on your roster if you’re looking to add a versatile bench piece since he can play all over the diamond, similar to a guy like Oswaldo Cabrera. If the Yankees were to add Hernandez to their bench, one would imagine that Oswald Peraza would be demoted to Triple-A, and that hints at the prospect of Brian Cashman wanting a more proven player to back up the likes of DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres. It makes sense given the questions surrounding their corner infield, and there are still some strong options remaining.

The Yankees could have a reunion with Donovan Solano, who played with the team back in 2016 and has been a strong bat since departing the organization. He put up a 116 wRC+ with the Minnesota Twins last season en route to their first playoff series win in two decades. Jean Segura and Elvis Andrus are also on the market and could be versatile infield options that would likely cost nothing more than a Minor League free agent deal, and with Opening Day just a month away, desperation to find a job could be growing among some players remaining on the market.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees
Apr 16, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Donovan Solano (39) hits a single in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It remains unclear what the Yankees have planned for Oswald Peraza, who was a top-100 prospect and one of the most highly touted players in the organization just two years ago. After losing the shortstop battle to Anthony Volpe, it’s been all downhill in terms of stock, and the Yankees might end up sending him to Scranton once again to open the season. His current shoulder injury could also create some urgency to find an MLB-ready infielder as the Yankees don’t have many options on their 40-man roster to turn to.

Jorbit Vivas has been incredible in Spring Training, but he’s better off getting at-bats in Triple-A and getting ready for a full-time role if the situation calls for it, as he struggled upon his promotion to the highest-level Minor League Baseball has to offer last year. The Yankees recently claimed Jahmai Jones off of waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, but his track record at the Major League level is worse than Peraza’s, and he brings less defensive versatility as well. It seems like an external addition could be the route they take, although it’s unclear who exactly that would be.

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