The New York Yankees are working diligently to prepare for opening day on April 7, meaning every spring training game is that much more valuable. With the lockout eating into a majority of the off-season, the Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams were forced to expedite the process, which unfortunately negatively impacts players and their preparation.
With that being the case, the Yankees had to make a few tough decisions with some of their elevating prospects, notably Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Estevan Florial. All three were optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but was it the right choice?
Per the Yankees PR team:
- Optioned INF Oswaldo Cabrera, INF Oswald Peraza and OF Estevan Florial to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and reassigned them to minor league camp.
The Yankees need Florial to finally reach his potential and offer at least depth in the outfield this upcoming season, playing in 11 games last year and recording a .300 average with a 24% strikeout rate and 20% walk rate. He also tallied one homer over 25 at-bats, but the sample size is far too small to make an analysis.
With Tyler Wade, Clint Frazier, and Brett Gardner all departing from the team this off-season, the depth situation is rather thin in the outfield. Hopefully, Florial can remain healthy and prove his worth in Triple-A, getting the call up to the active roster and offering value on the back-end.
As for Cabrera and Peraza, both infielders have shown flashes in recent months, with the latter of the two nearly MLB ready. Peraza spent just eight games in Triple-A last year, recording a .286 average with a 16.1% strikeout rate. A bit more experience in Triple-A and he should be ready to help the team in case of injury or deficiencies.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees capitalize on Cabrera’s value via trade at this point, given the team recently extended DJ LeMahieu on a massive contract extension last year. Cabrera serves multiple infield spots, but his most preferable position is second base.
It is a nice sign to see multiple prospects nearly ready to make the jump to the big leagues, but giving them a bit more action might’ve been ideal. Instead, management has decided to roll with a few more experienced players, but most of them will likely be cut before opening day.