Yankees send Oswald Peraza to Triple-A fueling trade rumors

Yankees' Oswald Peraza is playing in Venezuela during the 2023 offseason.

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Following recovery from a shoulder injury sustained in February, Oswald Peraza was activated from the 10-day injured list on Sunday. However, instead of joining the Yankees’ major league roster, he was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This has fueled rumors of the Yankees dumping him out and potentially keeping his trade bet.

Oswald Peraza had begun a rehab assignment on May 7, but in his most recent outing with the Triple-A team, he went hitless in four at-bats, striking out once. The Yankees organization has decided to allow the 23-year-old prospect to regain his form and confidence in the minors before considering a promotion to the big league club later in the season.

Despite Oswald Peraza’s recent struggles, the Yankees remain enamored with his talent and potential. Throughout his minor league career, some scouts have even praised his defensive abilities at shortstop more highly than those of Anthony Volpe, the 2023 rookie Gold Glove winner. Peraza, a native of Venezuela, boasts excellent range, a strong throwing arm, and consistent fielding skills.

In addition to his prowess at shortstop, Oswald Peraza demonstrated his versatility by performing well at third base late last season when given regular playing time due to injuries to DJ LeMahieu and the release of Josh Donaldson.

Oswald Peraza’s offensive capabilities have also been impressive in the minors, where he consistently hit for both average and power at every level. This well-rounded skill set earned him a spot in the top five of MLB Pipeline’s Yankees prospect rankings from 2020 to 2023, placing second in 2022 and third last year.

Oswald Peraza’s downhill in pinstripes

However, Oswald Peraza’s stock has taken a hit recently, primarily due to his disappointing performance at the plate during his major league opportunities last season. In 191 plate appearances, he managed a meager .191 batting average, raising concerns about his readiness for the big leagues.

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Oswald Peraza’s struggles at the plate in his major league appearances last season were not limited to his low batting average. He struck out 50 times while drawing only 13 walks, and his power numbers were underwhelming, with just two home runs.

This performance stood in stark contrast to his impressive debut in late 2022, when he hit .306 in 18 games and earned a starting spot at shortstop in a playoff game, replacing the struggling Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

However, the 2023 season proved to be a major setback for Oswald Peraza. He lost the open shortstop competition to Anthony Volpe in spring training, and it wasn’t even close.

To make matters worse, Oswald Peraza suffered a shoulder injury that initially seemed minor but later revealed itself as a subscapularis shoulder strain. This setback required a month of no throwing followed by a gradual rehabilitation process.

Oswald Peraza finally began playing in rehab games last week, starting with two appearances for Low A Tampa before moving up to Double-A Somerset, where he has played four more games through Wednesday.

It is expected that Oswald Peraza’s rehab assignment will soon be elevated to Triple-A. Once his allotted 20 days are complete, he will likely be optioned to remain with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team rather than joining the Yankees’ major league roster.

The organization remains hopeful that Oswald Peraza can rediscover his form and live up to his potential, but for now, he must focus on regaining his health and consistency in the minors.

Oswald Peraza losing place in Yankees lineup

Before the start of spring training, Oswald Peraza had an opportunity to secure a utility infielder role with the Yankees, potentially putting him in contention to become the team’s starting second baseman next season when Gleyber Torres is expected to depart via free agency.

However, Oswald Peraza’s injuries and lack of progress at the plate have caused him to fall off the radar.

If the Yankees decide to look internally for a new second baseman in 2025, the current favorite would likely be veteran Jon Berti. Berti, who was the Marlins’ starting shortstop last season and is currently serving as a reserve infielder for the Yankees, has already demonstrated his ability to hit major league pitching effectively.

When asked directly if he was convinced that Oswald Peraza would be able to hit at the big league level, Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s response was not a resounding endorsement.

Boone expressed his belief that Oswald Peraza had the potential to make the necessary adjustments to take advantage of the opportunities he received, acknowledging the talent that the young infielder possesses. However, he also emphasized that Peraza still needed to improve to reach that level of success.

During his rehab games, Oswald Peraza is once again showcasing his power in the minors, having already hit three solo home runs. His third homer came in the sixth inning of Somerset’s game on Wednesday, providing the only run in a 1-0 home victory over Portland.

Despite his minor league success, questions remain about Oswald Peraza’s ability to translate his offensive production to the major league level. The Yankees will closely monitor his progress and development as they consider their options for the future of their infield.

In an interview with the Patriots’ website, Oswald Peraza expressed his joy at being back on the field, stating that he felt great and was thrilled to be playing again.

While Oswald Peraza has impressed with his power over the last week, hitting three home runs, he has struggled to find consistency at the plate. In his six games, he has only managed one additional hit, leaving him with a 4-for-18 record.

However, it’s important to note that this slow start should not be held against him, as these rehab games serve as a sort of spring training for Peraza.

Despite his efforts, Oswald Peraza has yet to demonstrate that he deserves another opportunity at the major league level. As DJ LeMahieu prepares to begin his rehab assignment this week, there is a possibility that he could rejoin the Yankees by the end of May or early June, provided his foot injury has fully healed. When LeMahieu returns, the seldom-used 26th man on the roster, Jahmai Jones, will likely be the one to lose his spot.

For Oswald Peraza to receive another chance with the Yankees, an injury to one of the team’s starting infielders would be necessary. However, even in that scenario, he might be overlooked in favor of players like Oswaldo Cabrera and Jon Berti, who are higher on the depth chart and would receive the majority of the playing time.

Yankees infielder Oswald Peraza hits a home run in his first rehab with Single-A Tampa at George M. Steinbrenner Field on May 8, 2024.
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Oswald Peraza, perhaps not fully grasping his current situation, seems to be anticipating a return to the Yankees, who have been thriving without him, boasting a 33-15 record and sitting atop the AL East.

To secure his place in the Yankees’ future plans, Oswald Peraza must continue to work on his offensive consistency and demonstrate that he can handle the challenges of facing big-league pitching.

While it may seem unlikely, the Yankees have not given up on Oswald Peraza entirely. At just 23 years old, with his 24th birthday approaching on June 15, he still has time to develop and prove his worth.

The organization’s primary focus is on his continued development, both for potential future use with the Yankees and as a valuable trade asset. However, before considering Oswald Peraza for a major league role, the Yankees want to ensure that he has a solid month’s worth of games under his belt in the minors.

Manager Aaron Boone stressed the importance of providing Oswald Peraza with the equivalent of full spring training, emphasizing the need to build him up properly. But as he stays in the minors, the Yankees are likely to consider him for a trade.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Yankees send Oswald Peraza to Triple-A fueling trade rumors

  1. Peraza – just one more prospect that wasn’t given a shot despite having a real opportunity nor was he traded when he was still a top prospect. Just another reason why major changes in organizational thinking need to happen, and if that means replacing some of the decision makers, do be it.

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