Yankees should leverage one of their top outfield prospects via trade

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, everson pereira
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have been in discussion with multiple teams regarding pitching reinforcements on the trade market. They failed to land Corbin Burnes, who inevitably ended up being moved to the Baltimore Orioles for a return of solid prospects.

Yankees’ Trade Strategy and Prospect Protection

However, the Yankees didn’t land Burnes because of a lack of interest; they decided that star outfield prospect Spencer Jones wasn’t on their list of movable pieces. It seems as if Jasson Dominguez and Jones are well protected in the Yankees’ farm system, but general manager Brian Cashman has one other prospect he should try to leverage.

One of Cashman’s top trade pieces is Everson Pereira, a 22-year-old outfielder with substantial upside both offensively and defensively. In Triple-A last season, Pereira hit .312/.386/.551, including eight home runs and 33 RBIs.

Pereira’s Potential and Challenges

The major concern is his strikeout rate, which sat at 27.8% and posted an 8.2% walk rate. He played 27 games with the Yankees last season, struggling in the batter’s box, hitting .150/.233/.194, including 10 RBIs and a 38.8% strikeout rate.

Of course, Pereira doesn’t hold as much value as Dominguez or Jones, but he still has upside as a solid defensive player, and he’s just starting to scratch the surface with his bat. Unfortunately, he does have a bit of an aggression problem in the batter’s box, swinging at too many pitches and needing a better eye.

He could stand to improve his flyball rate and reduce his ground ball rate, which sits at 47.2%. He has a stabbing motion with his swing, which oftentimes leads to extra-base hits and balls hitting into the gap. He managed a 54.7% rate and a 7.5% barrel rate with 91.9 average exit velocity, showcasing his potential, and another team could be intrigued by his talent.

Trade Opportunities and Decisions

Unfortunately, being a 22-year-old super athlete, he’s an obvious target in talks that include star pitching. Burnes is one of the best arms in the game, but he’s headed into the final year of arbitration, so the Yankees would only be getting one season of his production and moving one of their best young players in exchange.

A combination of Pereira and lesser talents may get the job done for a pitcher like Shane Bieber, who has put together some impressive numbers at pitching developmental center DriveLine this off-season.