DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a complaint stemming from Anthony Volpe making the Opening Day roster. That decision by the New York Yankees is wholeheartedly supported by fans. We're just looking at the potential fallout of that decision as it pertains to another one of the organization's top prospects.
Oswald Peraza, who was believed to be in pole position for the starting shortstop job -- in fact, some said it was his job to lose at the onset of Spring Training -- was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday after Volpe earned the promotion.
This comes after he made his MLB debut at the tail end of the 2022 season, hit .306 with an .832 OPS in 18 games, and got one start in the ALCS against the Astros. But his fate was sealed after a poor spring.
Peraza hit .190 with a .616 OPS in 15 games (42 at-bats) while Volpe countered with a .314 average and 1.064 OPS in 17 games (51 at-bats). The Yankees were faced with an obvious dilemma: whose confidence were they going to affect with their decision?
In the end, Peraza's 18 MLB games didn't do enough to shift the conversation. And it would've been really hard for them to option Volpe after his last two minor league seasons, in addition to his spring performance. But what's next for Peraza? More wasting away at Triple-A? Declining trade value?
Did Yankees hurt Oswald Peraza's trade value with Triple-A demotion?
Looking back, had the Yankees non-tendered Isiah Kiner-Falefa or traded Gleyber Torres or released Aaron Hicks, they could've kept a roster spot open for Peraza and wouldn't have been faced with the tough decision to option him.
Additionally, Volpe was always "the guy," regardless of what fans might've been thinking. The tone of the discussions/buzz surrounding the 2019 first-round pick continued to make it seem like he was the shortstop of the future/next Derek Jeter in waiting. The Yankees weren't going to let Peraza interrupt that.
But why not have the best of both worlds? There's little need for IKF and there's absolutely no need for Hicks. Depending on what contingency of fans you ask, the same could be said about Torres. And don't get anyone started on Josh Donaldson.
Would it have been more prudent for the Yankees to reserve a roster spot for both of their top prospects? If that happened, they could've better planned for the future of their middle infield or offered other MLB teams a better glimpse of what Peraza was capable of in the bigs so his trade value would grow or remain the same.
Now that the narrative is he "lost" the starting shortstop job and will instead be wasting away in Triple-A Scranton -- where he has absolutely nothing to prove -- to start the 2023 season, his trade value and overall reputation more than likely took a hit in what's expected to be another lesson for the Yankees in "what not to do" when handling top prospects.