The New York Yankees have been stockpiling infield prospects for the past few seasons, featuring some impressive names among their ranks. Ranging from Anthony Volpe to Oswald Peraza, the Yankees have plenty of trade bait if they wish to take that route, but it would be foolish to give up on their promising young stars before seeing what they can do at the major league level.
This off-season has been filled with rumors and mock trades, heavily involving the Oakland Athletics and first baseman Matt Olson. Olson is coming off a tremendous 2021 season, hitting a career-best .271 with 39 homers and 111 RBIs. Olson reduced his strikeout rate to 16.8% after logging 31.4% back in 2020.
At just 27 years old, the left-handed batter could likely smash 40+ homers in Yankee stadium, but the question is, are the Yankees willing to offer up some of their big minor-league players to acquire him?
If the team is looking to win a championship now, parting ways with young talent makes logical sense, but the long-term future of the team is disrupted, especially if they view Volpe and Peraza as potential infield starters over the next year or so.
Peraza seems like the most probable to be traded if Cashman engaged with Oakland, but given the Yankees’ hesitancy toward investing big money at shortstop, they may call upon him to feature if he continues to perform well with Scranton in Triple-A.
Last season, Peraza hit .286 with one homer and two RBIs over just 28 at-bats with Scranton. He will start the year at the top of the minor league, and if he continues to impress, he could receive a call if the Yankees need to supplement shortstop for any given reason.
Spending money instead of minor-league capital seems to be the most efficient method of injecting talent into the starting team at this point. Given Volpe and Peraza could feature as a dynamic duo in the infield come 2024, Cashman would have a ton of money to spend elsewhere as contracts begin to expire down the line.
However, it could also fuel the idea of spending big money now on a player like Freddie Freeman, who is expected to generate tremendous interest once the lockout comes to an end. Freeman is coming off a World Series win with the Atlanta Braves and smashed 31 homers last year. You can always spend and find more money, but giving away great prospects is a decision you can’t come back from.