This offseason — out of all recent offseasons — the New York Yankees should be more willing than ever to explore some sell-high trades on top prospects to help reopen their championship window.
Or, at least, try to pry it back open. It is closed, right? We all agree, considering how the roster is currently constructed, it’s closed? Great. Then let’s fix it.
When the MLB Lockout wraps (if it wraps), the Yankees should join the Red Sox, Dodgers, Astros and the rest of the smart teams on the transaction wire. Unfortunately, there aren’t many remaining free agents who can actually satisfy Bombers fans for money alone. If Brian Cashman strikes out on Trevor Story and Carlos Correa (can’t strike out if you never try!), there are very few difference-makers on the market.
Fine. Great. Time to swing some trades, then, hopefully using only the prospects the team can most afford to trade.
No, that doesn’t mean taking advantage of the rest of the league by trying to foist Miguel Andújar and an already-jettisoned Clint Frazier on them. It means selling high on breakout prospects, saying difficult goodbyes to potential future stars who also have competition without the system, and being willing to “lose” a trade for a difference-maker in order to make the current team stronger.
Yankee fans typically spew out far too many undeserved criticisms of Cashman’s efforts, but one thing we believe he actually does deserve a ding for is what we perceive as an unwillingness to lose a deal. Every prospect he surrenders is perfectly manicured to minimize risk. Every package seems like an overflow of B- talent instead of one “A” headliner and some potential breakouts.
Sometimes, that wins out, like with the Rangers and Joey Gallo. Often, it doesn’t, and we learn after the fact that somebody who should’ve definitely been on the table was excluded from the conversation all along.
In February (or March, or April…), these big-name Yankees prospects should be placed on the trade block. We can’t afford to get cute and lose out on another season.
The Yankees can afford to trade these 3 prospects in 2022.
3. Oswald Peraza
Unfortunately, Oswald Peraza’s future likely isn’t in the Bronx — or, at least, there are plenty of baseball reasons not to wait around and find out.
The 2024 New York Yankees will probably need a new shortstop. It could be top prospect Anthony Volpe. It could be heralded 2021 first-rounder Trey Sweeney, who’s already a top-10 prospect in the system. It could be Roderick Arias, the 16-year-old wunderkind who’s reportedly about to be signed on the international market. Or, the team could simply run with Carlos Correa or Trevor Story for another year before switching their positions!
With all of those names in the mix, there’s very little reason for the Bombers to have Peraza and Volpe run parallel when they’re ostensibly also trying to win the World Series in 2022. You can’t start two rookie shortstops. Not possible. The team has staked their claim on Volpe Island, and we tend to agree with that position.
Peraza’s going to be really good. This is not a foisting. This is not “overrating” a top prospect because he’s got an interlocking N-Y on his hat. The 21-year-old Peraza has a top-flight power/speed combo, and he broke out with a .297/.356/.477 triple-slash between High-A and Double-A last season, ripping 18 homers and stealing 38 bases.
Peraza is an extremely good baseball player. He’s also someone the Yankees can afford to flip for Matt Olson before immediately refilling his position on the prospect ladder. This is, unfortunately, good baseball whether he breaks out in another city or not.