The Athletic predicts current free agent swipes Oswald Peraza's Yankees roster spot

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Oswald Peraza was teetering on the edges of the Yankees roster before his throwing shoulder began to pinch. Now, after being unable to play for the better part of a week, his demotion to Triple-A feels less like a punishment and more like a necessity.

Peraza is behind the eight ball, leading Yankees insiders Brendan Kuty and Chris Kirschner to theorize about his potential replacement when the team travels to Houston in late March. As of the start of the month, they've settled on ... three players who aren't currently under contract with the team. Spicy.

The Athletic's Yankees Roster Projection 3.0 (subscription required) dropped on Monday morning and, predictably, it included a lineup that's all but set, as well as a rotation that hasn't yet sprung any leaks (unless you count Carlos Rodón's batting practice session heard 'round the world).

When it comes to the bench, though, Kirschner and Kuty demoted Austin Wells to the pine (for Opening Day, at least) and removed Peraza from the roster entirely. Not shocking. Despite two years of theoretically getting his reps in daily at Triple-A, he still hasn't maximized the opportunity. Add in the injury concerns, and the decision veers closer to a no-brainer.

The shocker, though, was who replaced him. Three names were pitched, none of whom are currently in the organization.

Yankees Roster Projections include three veteran Oswald Peraza replacements

According to Kirschner/Kuty, the Yankees' substantial interest in Kiké Hernández ($4 million offer!) and attempts to talk with Gio Urshela indicate they're not done building a bench. What about Donovan Solano, a recent favorite of Yankees Twitter who remains unsigned? The 36-year-old ex-Yankee posted a 110 OPS+ last season with the Minnesota Twins, occasionally manning first base, which could be a boon to this roster as well.

Other options discussed include Dodgers Quad-A player Kevin Padlo (wouldn't be the Yankees' first time dealing with the Dodgers this spring) or Blue Jays flyer-receiver Eduardo Escobar, who could be squeezed off Toronto's roster (and likely should be, given their option-free infield conundrum).

Solano is probably the sturdiest option, as well as the most familiar. There's an outside chance Padlo has untapped power potential, but add in his swing-and-miss and the fact that the Dodgers haven't found much use for him yet, and it still seems like Solano wins out.

Based on their recent free agent overtures, the Yankees likely realize that, too.