3 Yankees who will make the 2024 Opening Day roster but won’t last the season

The roster bubble never firms up.
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Yankees / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees have what looks like a five-man rotation, what seems like a bullpen, and what feels like a bench locked down well before Opening Day, but there are still plenty of decisions to be made by the end of March.

Decisions which must then be made again, over and over, throughout the course of the season until the roster settles in the wake of the trade deadline.

As Aaron Judge noted at Tuesday's press conference, the one thing you can always count on from the Yankees is constant searching with an insatiable desire to tinker (except, for some reason, at 2023's Keynan Middleton deadline).

Even prior to Opening Day, it still feels fair to expect the Yankees to keep sniffing around the game's available pitchers; whether they land a Snell-like big fish or an Edward Cabrera-type trade asset is a different matter entirely, but they have no desire to give up the fight.

The 2024 Yankees won't be a finished product -- "pencils down," in Brian Cashman parlance -- until they've concocted a playoff roster. Expect these three players to head north for Opening Day, but be out of the picture by midsummer.

3 Yankees who'll make Opening Day roster, but won't last 2024 season

Oswald Peraza

Entering a win-now 2024 season (aren't they all, though?), the Yankees can't in good conscience trade Gleyber Torres and hand his second base job to Oswald Peraza.

(WARNING: UNFAIR, BUT INCREASINGLY FAIR, ASSESSMENT TO FOLLOW) Peraza has received 248 scattered plate appearances across the past two seasons, and has rarely resembled a player befitting of top-100 prospect pedigree (except with the glove, briefly, towards the end of 2022).

In 52 games in 2023, Peraza subtracted 0.7 bWAR, hitting .191 with a 49 OPS+, numbers so silently poor they were obscured by the team's myriad other, more glaring issues. It's possible that Peraza, with nothing left to prove at Triple-A this year, earns an Opening Day bench spot and is miscast in the role. It's possible he requires daily reps for his development, allowing him to reach his far-off peak. But those daily reps cannot come with the first-half 2024 Yankees. Either he clicks as a bench piece and stays, clicks as a bench piece and boosts his trade value, or scuffles further and gets demoted into oblivion.

Sadly, we're betting on either one of the latter two options. Theoretically, he could be a 2025 starter if he could hang on for the full season. But it's tough to imagine what he could do from the bench that would make him a satisfactory portion of next year's starting lineup for a fan base that demands excellence across the board.