Veterans, Boone to feel the ripple effect as Yankees add prospects to MLB team

The New York Yankees players are seen together in July 2022.

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With the addition of two prominent prospects to the Yankees’ roster on Tuesday, the remaining six weeks of the regular season have gained a newfound significance. This is going to highlight new roster dynamics that are sure to witness changes guided by the interplay between new talent and seasoned players.

The Yankees, having endured an eight-game losing streak – their lengthiest since 1995 – have essentially sealed their fate, a result of lackluster performance in the last three months. While languishing at the bottom of the baseball standings, they need a miraculous fightback to overcome impossible odds and secure a playoff berth. The infusion of young blood firing all cylinders in Triple-A brings new hopes amidst failing of the team’s veterans.

Nevertheless, the promotion of Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza brings a glimpse into the future, particularly the 2024 season. These two highly-regarded prospects now have the chance to showcase their abilities, essentially auditioning to prove their worthiness of a starting role when the new season commences next spring.

This sudden surge of excitement arrives for a fan base that has witnessed a rather lackluster performance for most of the summer. The young talents now have the opportunity to gain experience on the fly, a chance that holds immense value, potentially igniting a spark, reminiscent of when Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were brought up in August 2016. Although that particular season also ended without a playoff berth, the infusion of youthful talent during the final stretch propelled the Yankees to a strong finish, hinting at what the remarkable 2017 season would bring.

Yankees’ roster dynamics set to change

The promotions of Pereira and Peraza not only mean that they will be filling the spots of two current players on the roster – likely Greg Allen and Oswaldo Cabrera, or possibly Billy McKinney – but also that veteran players will have fewer opportunities on the field moving forward.

Consider Isiah Kiner-Falefa, for instance. Throughout the year, the utility player has excelled in his new role, establishing himself as one of the team’s most dependable hitters. With Peraza taking third base duties and Pereira starting in left field, Kiner-Falefa’s situation has reverted to how the season started: long stretches on the bench, sporadic starts, and coming off the bench in the late stages of games.

Facing free agency this upcoming winter, this situation is undoubtedly challenging for IKF. Yet, if anyone can handle it, it’s him. He embodies the essence of a selfless team player. Nonetheless, prioritizing his play over the young talents would prove to be misguided, squandering the long-awaited advancements these promotions bring.

Will it end Gleyber Torres’ time in the Bronx?

Gleyber Torres reacts after the Yankees lost in Boston in 2021.
Winslow Townson

This might mark the commencement of the conclusion for Gleyber Torres wearing the Yankee uniform. Torres is slated to become a free agent after the upcoming season. Should Peraza emerge as a lasting solution in the infield, particularly as a middle infielder rather than a third baseman, it would make sense for the Yankees to trade Torres during the offseason, possibly acquiring a pitcher in return.

This notion has been under contemplation by the Yankees for a considerable period. Witnessing Peraza thrive with consistent playing time for the remainder of the season could serve as the ultimate catalyst that prompts general manager Brian Cashman to take that decisive step.

Trade or role change for LeMahieu

dj lemahieu of yankees
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

DJ LeMahieu is secured for three more years before becoming a free agent, earning $15 million annually. He may see a transition to first base, assisting in covering for Anthony Rizzo. Anticipate Jake Bauers to also garner some starts in that position, despite his recent struggle over the past few weeks.

In terms of the upcoming year, LeMahieu’s role could entail either starting at third base or adopting a utility position, providing coverage at first, second, and third bases. Looking forward, as more young talent becomes integrated into the team, the Yankees need to start contemplating a scenario in which they part ways with LeMahieu before his contract expires.

Giancarlo Stanton’s days look numbered

giancarlo-stanton-ny-yankees

Stanton‘s performance in 2023 is reminiscent of Joey Gallo’s numbers. The instances where Stanton displays exceptional offensive prowess have become less frequent than before. His contract is binding until 2028.

Although Pereira won’t currently replace Stanton in the lineup, the Yankees should consider giving Aaron Judge more opportunities as the designated hitter for the remainder of the season. This approach would help prevent exacerbating his existing right big toe injury. While the Yankees are committed to Stanton for the entirety of his contract, his current underwhelming performance as a designated hitter could force the team to confront a costly and unfortunate reality sooner than they had anticipated.

Harrison Bader may not get a renewal

Harrison Bader of the New York Yankees is going to bat against the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 6, 2023.
Twitter

Harrison Bader faces an intriguing situation in the upcoming games. He’ll have the opportunity to act as a mentor to Pereira, aiding his defensive growth by playing alongside him in center field. Simultaneously, Pereira’s progress could potentially lessen Bader’s importance heading into the offseason.

The impending free agency of the current center fielder presents a dilemma. While he has been an ideal match for the team, boasting hometown roots and exceptional defensive skills, his frequent injuries and likely price tag for a contract renewal make the decision challenging. With Pereira and Jasson Dominguez on the brink of realizing their major league potential, and with Spencer Jones on the horizon a few years down the line, committing to a long-term contract with Bader might not be a necessity for the Yankees.

Will the Yankees go with three catchers?

As Pereira and Peraza prepare to join the Yankees in New York, the spotlight is turning toward catcher Austin Wells as the next player in line for a potential promotion. He has been wielding a hot bat following his transition from Double-A Somerset to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. While there are concerns about his defensive skills, his offensive prowess has positioned him for a potential call-up as the season winds down.

With Higashioka potentially facing non-tender decisions and Rortvedt struggling to adjust to major-league pitching, Wells stands a genuine chance to secure the role of the Yankees’ second-string catcher next spring. The possibility exists that Wells could receive a call-up when rosters expand on September 1. This could be facilitated by the Yankees carrying three catchers on the roster. Conversely, the Yankees might also opt to send Rortvedt down before that date, creating more opportunities for Wells once he enters the scene.

Can the young guns save manager Aaron Boone’s Yankees career?

aaron-boone-new-york-yankees

Although it appears that Boone’s tenure as the team’s manager might be reaching its conclusion in the Bronx — even if he shouldn’t shoulder the blame for the underwhelming season — the arrival of these young talents could potentially alter owner Hal Steinbrenner’s plans. It’s conceivable that Boone could be the right leader to harness the potential of these prospects, fostering an environment that nurtures their success.

On the other hand, the Yankees may need to seek a manager who excels at cultivating the growth of young players, someone who can whip this roster into better shape.

If the Yankees manage to embark on a successful streak in the games ahead, irrespective of their final standing in the rankings, the discourse surrounding Boone’s job security might take a different turn.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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