Yankees were among teams interested in signing free agent utilityman

MLB: NLDS-Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers
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On Foul Territory, utilityman Kiké Hernández revealed that before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he had heavily considered a deal with the New York Yankees as well. Entering his age-32 season, Hernandez spent time with the Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers, with his time in Dodger blue being his most memorable as it included a World Series title in the 2020 season. He’s provided plenty of value with his versatility and glove, although the bat hasn’t been there in the last two seasons.

The Boston Red Sox traded him at last year’s trade deadline and the Dodgers recently signed him immediately after trading Manuel Margot to the Minnesota Twins. It reveals an interesting thought process that the Yankees’ infield situation and a potential lack of confidence in players like Oswald Peraza.

Kiké Hernández Was Targeted by the Yankees

MLB: NLDS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks
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Kiké Hernández is not known as an offensive threat, but he does have versatility and experience around the infield, playing every position at the Major League level outside of catcher. The right-handed hitting infielder would have gave the Yankees more insurance in their lineup and bench, but he ended up returning to the Dodgers instead. It felt inevitable that he’d return to Los Angeles after last season, as he’s spent most of his career there and has had his best seasons there as well.

It’s an interesting development given the lack of rumored interest in Hernandez from the Yankees’, but we have known of interest in a veteran infielder to bolster their depth for weeks. The Yankees were interested in a reunion with Gio Urshela, but he ended up signing a one-year $1.5 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. Another name that they showed interest in was Tony Kemp, but he would sign a Minor League contract with the Cincinnati Reds. It’ll be interesting to see if they pivot to another utilityman or decide to stay with their current option in Oswald Peraza.

READ MORE: Yankees’ projected infield utility man could lose his job this Spring

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
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Currently dealing with a tight shoulder, Oswald Peraza has seemingly lost a bit of standing in the organization, as they’re actively seeking a replacement for him on their Major League roster. It’s possible that starting him out in Triple-A could be the better choice for the 23-year-old infielder, who would certainly get every day starts down there versus the scattered at-bats he would get as the MLB reserve option. DJ LeMahieu has taken a firm hold on the third base job and that position is set for the regular season barring an injury.

Their interest in Kiké Hernández is interesting because it does reveal a desire to not roster Peraza on the Major League roster, but there are still interesting players on the board. Perhaps a versatile infielder could sign with the team on a cheap deal with Spring Training around the corner, and it looks like they’re at least keeping the backup infield job open for grabs. Whether Peraza steals the job or another unexpected name emerges remains to be seen, but the Yankees are actively looking for a more reliable option with veteran pedigree.

It’s an unexpected development, but given the questionable health of the aforementioned LeMahieu and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, it makes plenty of sense.

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