Backup Shortstop Competition?
If you think about it, the Yankees haven't had a backup shortstop since ... 2019? That was Gleyber Torres. Then he transitioned to the starter role and completely faceplanted in 2020 and 2021. Andrew Velasquez and Tyler Wade were the backups those years, which was hardly comforting.
Even last year when Isiah Kiner-Falefa was the starter, there was no true backup until Oswaldo Cabrera/Oswald Peraza got the call. Having Torres and Marwin Gonzalez behind him was the reason the Yankees played IKF for 138 games at the position.
Now, with Peraza likely to win the Opening Day job, there's a legitimate battle behind him for the backup role. You have IKF vs Oswaldo Cabrera (vs Anthony Volpe?!). IKF and Cabrera are more regarded as utility options, which could open the door for Volpe, who, with an impressive spring, could snag the starting SS or 2B job depending on what unfolds (and how comfortable the Yankees feel elevating him).
At the very least, it'll be IKF vs Cabrera, which is notable because IKF could be shown the door if Cabrera blows him out of the water. The Yankees already have a better, more expensive utility option in DJ LeMahieu, so Cabrera's emergence could convince the Yankees they have enough insurance.
If not, IKF could be the backup SS with Cabrera playing a decent amount of left field, which would affect that position battle. As of now, the left field search should mostly be between Aaron Hicks, Estevan Florial, Everson Pereira, Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun.
As you can see, there are a lot of ripple effects that could come out of the battle for a backup job. Don't snooze on this one.