Last offseason, multiple insiders spoke about the Yankees' plan to have both Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza make up the future of New York's middle infield. But then it appeared as if the plan went off the rails.
Volpe was named the Opening Day starting shortstop, which seemed to have knocked Peraza down a peg. Peraza didn't play well in the beginning of the year (part-time duty), suffered an injury, and then was stuck at Triple-A until July 16. He popped in for some action, got sent back down on July 26, and then resurfaced on Aug. 22.
All in all, Volpe's rookie season was solid, but left a lot to be desired. Peraza's was downright bad from an offensive lens, but he flashed his leather enough times to make it known he's a major league talent.
The "future" of the Yankees' middle infield, though? Not sure many fans would bet on that right now since these two have a lot of developing and growing to do, but it seems some early offseason intel might reveal that's still very much the plan.
And guess what? There's more speculation about an offseason Gleyber Torres trade, which is one of the few moves that would allow for this to happen.
When asked about the Yankees' plan for Peraza, here's what Bryan Hoch of MLB.com said in his latest mailbag:
"File this one under ‘to be determined.’ The Yankees are not interested in trading Peraza, but their crowded infield creates a puzzle: LeMahieu will get at-bats at first base, second base and third base, Anthony Volpe is returning as the starting shortstop, and Gleyber Torres remains the starting second baseman.- Bryan Hoch, MLB.com
The Yankees could conceivably bring Peraza into camp as a rover at second base, third base or shortstop, though a Torres trade remains on the table. Torres is arbitration eligible and would be looking at a raise over the $9.95 million he earned this past year; if Hal Steinbrenner is serious about having Volpe and Peraza as the future of the middle infield, as he’s said, then this might be the time to move Torres."
That escalating Torres salary is no joke, as many continue to reference. Per MLBTradeRumors, the second baseman is slated to earn over $15 million in 2024. If the Yankees can supplement offense elsewhere on the roster and trade Torres for some pitching, we can certainly see Peraza getting more second base reps. And don't forget, we have wondered about Peraza at short and Volpe at second. Will it happen? Probably not. But can we fully rule it out?
Nonetheless, Hoch's belief that Gleyber Torres could be traded and that the organization still values Peraza (with no intention of moving him) have to hold weight because of his influence and the fact both have been previously reported multiple times over the last year and a half or so.
Changes are coming for the Yankees. We're not sure how much fans would support something like this, but Torres' future has consistently been in doubt and Peraza's pedigree has been held in high regard for quite some time. If anything, this serves as a warning to not be surprised if it all unfolds as Hoch suggests.