Yankees' latest roster move hints DJ LeMahieu replacement is from outside the system

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds / Aaron Doster/GettyImages

If DJ LeMahieu cannot make an Opening Day start, as Aaron Boone strongly hinted on Monday afternoon, then the events of Monday evening seem to indicate that the Yankees plan to add an outside piece (or two) as insurance.

After Oswald Peraza went down, it was widely assumed that the "26th man" on the roster and last man on the bench might just be an external addition, as Jack Curry reiterated last weekend. Now, with LeMahieu potentially down for the count for the opener, too, after mashing a baseball off his bad foot and creating a "pretty significant bone bruise," the Yankees might be shopping in the DFA aisle twice.

That felt all the more certain on Monday evening, when the Yankees demoted Jorbit Vivas to Triple-A Scranton. Vivas making the Opening Day roster felt like an extreme longshot, but he received a significant number of reps as camp dragged on and impressed -- mainly with a pair of early, Rougned Odor-esque homers.

Instead, he'll start -- as long predicted -- at Triple-A, paving a path for Kevin Smith to make the Opening Day roster. Or, far more likely, a couple of big-league vets who are currently floating between organizations.

Yankees option Jorbit Vivas to Triple-A, pave path to sign veteran in DJ LeMahieu's place?

Vivas isn't a shortstop, but he could theoretically hold down third base (though second is his primary position). Regardless, it's a stretch, and the Yankees seem poised to troll the open market as camp closes.

Donovan Solano, a free agent since the beginning, is still available, and would be an excellent bat-on-ball fit and situational hitter (especially after Gio Urshela took the Tigers' playing time promise instead).

Or what about some recently-sliced Cincinnati Reds? Josh Harrison won't be making the Reds' Opening Day roster. Vanderbilt's own Tony Kemp was also optioned, making him a potential 40-man-fodder trade target. The Yankees had interest in Kemp earlier in the offseason, but he isn't a free agent like Harrison.

There is no perfect solution to LeMahieu's wonked-out foot problem (again, because Urshela took the cash weeks ago).

Regardless of who they choose, though, the Yankees seem poised to look at veteran additions rather than give another kid an early chance. They've got enough rookies plugged into important spots already, after all.