Cashman says Yankees shortstop decision in ‘the very end,’ not ruling out trade

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is seen with manager Aaron Boone at a training session and the duo is to finalize the Yankees shortstop choice.

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The New York Yankees have just over a week before they have to choose the 26 players who will be on their Opening Day roster. General manager Brian Cashman has admitted that he does not plan to pick a winner in the Yankees shortstop competition until toward the end of the spring training camp.

Even though Cashman and the Yankees have to decide between three middle infielders, it looks like this has narrowed down to a race between two players. Oswald Peraza is the favorite to become the Yankees shortstop on the opening day. He made his debut last fall and is now trying to get a full-time job in the major leagues. Anthony Volpe, a top prospect, is right there with Peraza. He had a great spring and could make the team.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who started as Yankees shortstop last year, is seen as another contender. However, he seems to be out of the race and hasn’t played at shortstop since March 8.

“We’ll make a decision when we have to in the very end,” Cashman told on Wednesday as the Yankees played the Nationals. “We still have some time on the clock, but we’ve had a good camp. A lot of good things to see. But we have time on the clock to make the final call.”

Brian Cashman is talking to reporters at Yankees spring training camp.
NyTimes

On Monday, Cashman and manager Aaron Boone held a meeting over the team roster. It included the front office and coaching staff. When asked about the timing of the decision to pick up the Yankees shortstop, the general manager didn’t give anything away, saying that it will come down to the “very end” of camp.

“Boonie and I will continue conversations, I can’t tell you when,“ Cashman said. “We still have some time on the clock. We’ve had a good camp. A lot of good things to see. But we have time on the clock to make the final call.”

Peraza and Volpe are two contenders for Yankees shortstop position.

The Yankees’ 2023 schedule starts against the Giants at Yankee Stadium on March 30. Most likely, Peraza will start as the Yankees shortstop on Opening Day. Volpe may start the year at Triple-A RailRiders. This would give the No. 1 prospect one more chance to get better before moving to the Bronx. IKF has moved around a lot this spring, which has made him more useful after he gave up his starting spot.

Volpe, who is 21, has started 10 games as the Yankees shortstop this spring while Peraza, who is 22, has played 10 games there as well. Peraza is seen as the better defensive shortstop because he is already on the 40-man roster and did well in a one-month cameo at the end of last season.

Volpe, who is one of the non-roster invitees to the camp, has only played 22 games at Triple-A. But he has made a strong case for being the Yankees shortstop with his all-around play and 1.027 OPS through 14 games.

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Volpe pose for a photograph during the Yankees 2023 spring training game at Tampa, FL.

No clarity on trade if Volpe won’t be Yankees shortstop

Some scouts see Volpe as a long-term second baseman if he fails to become the Yankees shortstop. But the Yankees already have Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu in that position. Also, they have a lot of big-league infielders on their 40-man roster.

Torres and Kiner-Falefa, who is becoming more of a utility player, could be traded by the Yankees if they can get enough in return.

However, Cashman looks like not sure about making any trade, even though they have too many players in those positions. But he didn’t rule out it completely.

“We’ll make a move if there’s a benefit to doing so and if there isn’t then we won’t,” he said. “We’ll stay engaged with the other clubs; who knows? We’ll see.”

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