The New York Yankees currently have a multitude of infield options for the 2023 Major League Baseball season.
Youngsters Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera will all be vying for playing time. Volpe finished 2022 as the no. 5 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com’s top 100 prospect rankings. Peraza is the 50th-best prospect in the sport, per those same rankings.
The Yankees are set at first base with Anthony Rizzo returning to the club for his third season with the Yankees.
DJ LeMahieu, who placed third in American League MVP voting in 2020, is expected to be healthy for 2023, after missing a solid chunk of last season due to injury.
The Yankees also have veterans Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson returning to the club. LeMahieu fulfilled a utility role in 2022, but is a four-time Gold Glove Award winner at second base. Torres has played second base primarily since the start of the 2021 season. Kiner-Falefa was benched multiple times during last postseason after struggling.
The Yankees could trot out one of their young infielders in left field, a hole the club is still attempting to fill. In order for Peraza and Volpe to get regular playing time and a chance to develop as Major League players, the Yankees might need to trade two of Kiner-Falefa, Donaldson and Torres.
The Yankees have passed on signing star free agent shortstops in each of the past two offseasons, a decision from the club’s front office that was likely motivated by its belief in Volpe and Peraza. Well, in order for them to play, the Yankees are going to need to create space for them.
I can’t imagine that Donaldson or Kiner-Falefa would fetch a substantial return on the open market. The club acquired both of them in a trade for catcher Gary Sanchez last spring. The Yankees might need to eat some of Donaldson’s remaining guaranteed $21 million on his contract, in order to move him.
Torres might carry more trade value. Torres is a two-time All-Star under club control through 2024. If he doesn’t fit into the team’s long-term plans, perhaps it may make sense to move him.
Yankees executive Brian Cashman has expressed his desire to only trade a veteran if the ‘trade makes sense.’
“We’ll only make a trade if something makes sense,” Cashman said. “We’re not going to make a trade just to create a spot for a kid. We’ll make a trade if we feel like we’re getting some sort of value back.”
Well, we’re nearly two months from Opening Day, and the Yankees might need to work on a trade before then in order to give Volpe and Peraza a chance to shine.
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