Yankees’ projected infield utility man could lose his job this spring

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees entered spring training with the assumption that 23-year-old infielder Oswald Peraza would feature as their new primary utility man. With DJ LeMahieu moving to third base full-time, Peraza still plans to be a versatile piece, but a tough start to spring training and a new injury could force him into another peculiar situation.

Last off-season, the Yankees saw Anthony Volpe steal the starting shortstop job right out from underneath Peraza, who ended up back in Triple-A trying to work on some of his offensive inconsistencies. While Peraza is known for his Gold Glove-level defense, he unfortunately made two errors in his lone spring training appearance, striking out twice over three at-bats.

Offensive Challenges and Competition

Peraza has struggled to find his offensive groove at the MLB level, playing 52 games last season, hitting .191/267/.272, including two homers and 14 RBIs in 2024. Ultimately, the Yankees can’t afford to wait much longer for Peraza to reach his potential, especially if other players are performing well.

Notably, Jorbit Vivas has emerged onto the scene and put together dominant spring training numbers over a small sample size, but he could be a long-term solution at second base if the Yankees let Gleyber Torres walk in free agency next year.

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Yankees Need to Figure out Peraza’s Value

Peraza is now working his way through shoulder tightness and will miss a few days but could return over the weekend. This shouldn’t keep them out for too long and compromise his ability to win the utility role and make the Yankees’ active roster.

“I’m hoping he’s back in there maybe Thursday or Friday,” Boone said on Tuesday. “We’ll just see. Today he seemed better but [Monday] the trainers noticed he was pretty tight back there. Hoping it’s a day-to-day thing. We’ll see.”

Ultimately, the more time Peraza misses, the higher the probability that another player steals his job. The Bombers want to give him a relatively decent sample size to prove he can boost his offensive production, but at this point, his future contributions to the team are not looking great. If Vivas has a strong spring, Peraza could lose his job once again, which would tank any remaining value and likely make him a throw-in piece in a future trade the Yankees execute.

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