Insider smacks down MLB Network's Yankees 'change of scenery' candidate

Yeah, probably not the right time.
Washington Nationals v New York Yankees
Washington Nationals v New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Will the Yankees eventually be forced to trade top infield prospect Oswald Peraza? It's quite possible. Despite indications he'd likely be the Opening Day shortstop in 2023, Anthony Volpe came from behind him and won the job. He also won the Gold Glove at year's end, quelling discussions of a position change for at least a few minutes.

Roderick Arias is looming behind him in the pipeline waiting for full-season ball, as is 2023 first-round pick George Lombard Jr. Trey Sweeney, also seemingly blocked, was traded to the Dodgers last week to pick up bullpen target Victor González and infield prospect Jorbit Vivas (and to help with LA's clogged 40-man roster). The bell could toll for Peraza at some point, but ... recent MLB Network discussions of his value grossly misstated his current categorization.

MLB's Hot Stove pegged Peraza as a "change of scenery" candidate in a segment this week, which is typically a catch-all bucket used when a player has fallen out of favor (or his performance has begun to suffer due to an imperfect fit). Peraza has barely gotten a chance to play in New York and, yes, he probably won't be a penciled-in starter to begin 2024. But he was very recently a top-100 prospect, has shown MLB flashes, and might still be the strongest infield defender on the roster. He very likely is. So why would the Yankees sell low on him when they know Gleyber Torres isn't long for this roster, and they know they'll have to get cheaper across the board in 2025 if they want to retain Juan Soto?

It might require another year of patience, but as The Athletic's Chris Kirschner responded on Thursday afternoon, there is no reason for the Yankees to cut bait on Peraza now, and even less of a reason to believe he'll thrive elsewhere and die on the vine in New York.

No, Yankees infield top prospect Oswald Peraza is not a 'change of scenery' trade candidate

There's no doubting that 2023 was a missed opportunity for Peraza. He was expected to step into the limelight and instead threatened to veer into Estevan Florial territory, turned to only when the Yankees were at their most desperate for an infusion of youth.

But, with no evidence of publicly disgruntled behavior and with a changing infield landscape on the horizon for 2024, the Yankees cutting bait and shipping him to Chicago on a whim feels foolhardy. Blame New York for tanking his trade value, but another year of bench work and floating around the infield is more valuable to the Bombers than a haphazard swap.