May 19, 2024

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the New York Yankees made a surprising move by making an offer close to $4 million to utility player Kiké Hernández. Despite the lack of previous rumors linking the Yankees to Hernández, they emerged as the runner-up for his services. Hernández ultimately opted to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on a one-year, $4 million deal instead. This offer is noteworthy because any expenses incurred by the Yankees are subject to a 110% tax, meaning they were willing to make nearly an $8 million investment for bench depth.

Kiké Hernández ready for whatever Dodgers need after trade - Los Angeles  Times

The Yankees’ pursuit of Hernández suggests potential shifts in their bench strategy. With Oswald Peraza, who was expected to secure the reserve infield job, sidelined due to shoulder injuries and seemingly falling out of favor, the Yankees are exploring alternative scenarios in free agency.

Hernández’s versatility makes him an appealing option for a bench role, akin to Oswaldo Cabrera. Adding Hernández to the bench could result in Peraza being demoted to Triple-A, indicating General Manager Brian Cashman’s desire for a more seasoned player to support DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, and Gleyber Torres. Given uncertainties surrounding corner infield positions, there are several viable options still available in free agency.

Donovan Solano, a former Yankee who has excelled since leaving the organization, is one potential option. Solano posted impressive numbers with the Minnesota Twins last season, contributing to their playoff success. Additionally, Jean Segura and Elvis Andrus offer versatility in the infield and could be acquired for minimal cost. As Opening Day approaches, the pressure to secure a roster spot may drive some players to seek deals.

Peraza’s future with the Yankees remains uncertain. Once a highly touted prospect, Peraza’s stock has declined since losing the shortstop battle to Anthony Volpe. With his current shoulder injury adding urgency to the search for an MLB-ready infielder, the Yankees may opt to send Peraza to Triple-A once again.

While Jorbit Vivas has shown promise in Spring Training, he may benefit from further development in Triple-A before assuming a full-time role. The recent acquisition of Jahmai Jones via waivers offers limited defensive versatility compared to Peraza, potentially prompting the Yankees to pursue external infield additions.

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