The Yankees have been in contact with free agent outfielder David Peralta this offseason, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post. It isn’t clear whether talks are ongoing, as Heyman suggests the Yankees look likelier to roll with their in-house options in left field.
That position has been a prominent talking point among the fanbase throughout the offseason. That’s due to the two-year struggles of Aaron Hicks, who’s coming off a .216/.330/.313 showing through 453 plate appearances. That marked an improvement over his .194/.294/.333 line during an injury-riddled 2021 season but was still below average.
Given the stiff competition the Yankees are facing in the AL East, one could certainly argue for general manager Brian Cashman and his staff to seek out an upgrade. They’ve been tied to an array of left field possibilities. That includes the top remaining free agent, Jurickson Profar, and trade candidates like Bryan Reynolds and Max Kepler. Pittsburgh has reportedly set a massive asking price in talks regarding Reynolds. Minnesota dealing Kepler this offseason still seems possible, though Heyman writes there isn’t any current traction between the Yankees and Twins on that front.
Peralta’s part of a veteran fallback contingent for teams looking to augment their corner outfield but unwilling to meet Profar’s asking price. The longtime Diamondback had a great 2018 season in which he connected on 30 homers, but he’s posted roughly average offensive numbers in the four years since then. The left-handed batter owns a .266/.329/.425 mark since the start of the 2019 season. That includes a .251/.316/.415 showing over 490 trips between Arizona and the Rays last year.
While the bottom line numbers for the nine-year MLB veteran didn’t much change, the shape of his production did. Peralta significantly cut back on his ground balls last season, putting the ball on the dirt 36.3% of the time after hovering around 50% in every previous season of his career. The fly-ball oriented approach looked to be resulting in better power output earlier in the season, as Peralta carried a .460 slugging mark through 87 games in Arizona. Things cratered after he was dealt to the Rays, as he didn’t collect a single longball and stumbled to a .255/.317/.335 slash over 180 plate appearances with Tampa Bay.
Peralta’s a low-cost veteran option during his first trip to free agency. Yet even a modest deal might prove too costly for the Yankees given their reported spending limit. Heyman wrote last week the club doesn’t want to surpass the $293MM luxury tax mark that’d subject them to the highest penalization level on spending. Roster Resource calculates their CBT number around $292.3MM at the moment. Virtually any acquisition would likely push the Yankees past that threshold.
If the Yankees do stick with their internal left field options, the competition would figure to come down to Hicks and youngster Oswaldo Cabrera. The latter hit .247/.312/.429 in 44 games as a rookie, outperforming Hicks in 2022. Nevertheless, Cashman suggested last weekend in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM the veteran could have the upper hand in a camp battle (h/t to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). While Cashman called the situation “fluid,” he noted he expects “(Hicks) will be the guy that emerges, because he’s still really talented and everything’s there.“
Little Stevie Janowsky
Gross. Just trade for Kepler and be done with your off season. Peralta is arguably even worse than hicks and that’s a hard thing to be.
Beggars can’t be choosers.
Little Stevie Janowsky
Kind of like how the Phillies have minor league players like Marsh, bohm and stott in their starting lineup. Beggars can’t be choosers.
Boom is no minor leaguer! Stott showed a glimmer of hope last year. Marsh is a good 4 or 5 outfielder.
Little Stevie Janowsky
Bohm can’t hit, play defense or run the bases. He wouldn’t be rostered on probably 25 other major league teams.
And yet, the one team that did roster him and Stot and Marsh made it six games in the World Series. Maybe they’re doing something right afterall.
Little Stevie Janowsky
Baseball is crazy like that. It had nothing to do with them. I know it’s difficult but use your brain.
Brandon Marsh produced a 116 OPS+ with the Phillies in the regular season. Alec Bohm produced an .872 OPS and the team’s fourth-best Win Probability Added and Championship Win Probability Added in the World Series.
Agreed. At least you’re getting elite defense with Kepler.
And I’ve shown interest in Jessica Alba.
I’ll let you know when I’m done with her Cap.
Yes of course! You know there’s nothing wrong with sharing the proceeds! Lol, enjoy Coop!
Why trade for Kepler are the Yankees looking to bolster their IL?
@Mystery Team- If Kepler is cheap then why not? Not such a big risk.
I feel like between him and Hicks neither guy will be healthy so why not just go with Cabrera? I think having both Hicks and Kepler on the same roster would be a huge mistake and by mid-season fans would be pissed that both guys are injured. It’s almost like clockwork for both at this point. Pereira is a better option than Kepler or Hicks right now as well. My thing is this, if you’re gonna hold on to these prospects when you could have moved them for vets then let’s see what they have. I’m ready to see Pereira, Volpe, and Peraza on this club right now. I wanna see what they have. Volpe had a “down year” last year and still looked great and Cabrera, Pereira, and Peraza all look very promising. Then there’s Austin Wells who just rakes I mean what if he kills it to start the season does he get a look at catcher? Youth is where it’s at Cashman should have his head examined for trading for Donaldson in the first place now he’s a logjam at third and a much bigger issue than signing another LF who won’t even play.
Kepler >> Peralta >>>>>>Hicks
Among the three, Peralta hits the ball well and had a great season defensively. At 34 he still moved well. Hicks must go. Kepler is elite defensively and despite the fact he doesn’t have the same power as Peralta, Kepler’s power is still solid and he’s great at drawing walks. Kepler is also 5 years younger. Bottom line is the Yankees won’t do a thing unless they can shed some salary. That’s why bringing back IKF for $6mil made no sense.
They should have signed Benintendi and David Robertson. They are no better than last year.
If Rodon is healthy, the rotation is better. Adding a top-notch fielder like Kepler would capitalize on that improvement. If Montas stinks, as he very well might, giving his spot to German or Schmidt might not amount to much of a decline compared to last years’ rotation.
Why worry about the cap right now? More moves will likely be needed later due to injuries or production issues. The team may have to trade a prospect or two then to get someone to take $$ off their hands like Boston did with Adam O previously. Just don’t straddle the taxes like the Sox did last year. At the end, go for it or get under that last threshold.
Oops. last year’s, that is.
Rodon going to get lit up in Hitter friendly Yankee stadium and arguably the best division in Baseball
@junior- no he’s not. Why would you say something like that? No reason why Rodon can’t be an ace.
I have a feeling that Rodon is going to be a beast this year for the Yankees. The primary concern for him is injuring his arm again. If Rodon can stay healthy, the Yankees will have a Top 3, 1-2 punch of Cole & Rodon…scary stuff as a Red Sox fan! Meanwhile, Boston hopes to counter with Sale & Paxton??? Talk about injuries waiting to happen!
They should have signed Benintendi and David Robertson. They aren’t better than last year. Hopefully DJ bounces back!
You can say that again.
Don’t worry, he will.
This is typical Cashman – they need to improve the offense so his solution is a veteran who was good a few years ago. Another 36-year-old?! I mean, c’mon, really? I like Peralta and all but the Yankees ST will be held at a 55 and over community to accommodate their players.
Do they not trust Cabrera? He showed some pop and is still young enough to develop more. Why not give him the everyday job and see how he handles it?
That would be my preference. If they want to add Kepler as insurance, that’s okay too.
I still haven’t givin’ up on a pursuit of Ian Happ, probably closer to the deadline.
This one belongs to the Reds
At some time, you have to play these so called vaunted prospects and see what you have instead of trading them.
Starting to think the Reds want Jasson Dominguez now since they rejected him in Luis Castillo deal.
This one belongs to the Reds
You’re confusing rejecting the package with rejecting the player. They ended up with talent closer to being major league ready. A 19 year old is far from it unless he’s Ken Griffey Jr. Those come along once in a generation or so.
I have to ask though, why were the Yankees wanting to trade Jasson Dominguez? He’s only been in the system a couple of years. Do they know something?
I definitely feel the Yankees are happy they didn’t trade Dominguez in a package for Castillo now. Jasson should be ready for the majors in 2 seasons from now, that’s why the Yankees aren’t all over Bryan Reynolds now. Glad the Reds didn’t accept Dominguez, Waldichuk, Sweeney and Sears for Mr. Castillo. Are you happy with the Castillo trade?
This one belongs to the Reds
Well, I didn’t like that they had to deal Castillo at all but that’s the system small markets have to deal with. I think they got a good return.
The only drawback is they have accumulated a lot of shortstop prospects via the draft and trades when they have one of the best prospects there in Elly De La Cruz and they can only play one. I have said though that I think De La Cruz will eventually follow the Eric Davis/Billy Hamilton route and end up in CF.
Jason is a stud Cap.
Jasson, sorry. Damn autocorrect!
@rememberthecoop- I hope so, as you now very excited about the Martian, Coop. But you really never know how these kids are going pan out though. We’ll see. Lol! And you can call him Jason, no problem! Especially if he turns in to an All-Star.
Yeah, RayKings, I’d take Cabrera right now given the options, but the Yankees rarely trust any position to an upcoming youth. Cashman’s MO is to put a veteran, any veteran, in the position.
They should’ve had Peraza up much earlier too instead of leaving IKF out there to fail.
Honestly, if things play out the way it’s set to, the Yankees will have a $30+ MM bench crew! Now, I don’t care about the Yankees money or how much Hal spends, but that’s absurd.
C Yards Jeff
YClip; yes, an older club. IMO, that’s what tripped them up last year; not lack of talent. Injuries mounted as the year went on.
Jeff, you’re right, that was a big factor.
@Clipper- your 100% correct Oswald Peraza should of been up at least a month earlier then he was last season. IKF is a utility player at best. I love Peraza’s chances for Rookie Of The Year this season. I’d keep Volpe at AAA till or after the All Star break.
Yeah, I could certainly see Peraza as a viable ROY candidate given his ability. Hopefully it plays out that way!
We’re more than good. Unless he’s taking a minors deal with a higher than league min salary if he makes the roster we should pass.
I think is bad idea.
Peralta had two last seasons with Low
Ba.250+ and dont has a HR with Tampa.
Yankees need beging with Cabrera LF starded and Hicks how Back up if not be traded.
It’s not if they get him on a minors deal with an above league minimum salary if he cracks the roster but they should definitely give the young guys playing time and keep Hicks and have him share playing time with Oswaldo and possibly Oswald.
@raulito23- I’m definitely okay with Peralta coming on a minor league deal, I don’t care that he didn’t hit any homeruns with the Rays last season.
Agreed Capt. Peralta isn’t a perfect solution, but he’s better than Hicks and if Cabrera takes the job so much the better. Would love to have Peralta to pinch hit late in the game. It’s a win win situation.
The 1 bright spot is he is a lefty… negatives it’s reported by Heyman. Yankees are in on everyone! They won’t sign Peralta to go past the Cohen tax. Stay with Hicks and see how he does. Yanks can trade for Kepler after the season starts if they have no production in LF
Heyman reporting things that probably happened 2 months ago.
Heyman reporting what the voices in his head told him.
Heyman also reported that Arson Judge was signing with the Giants also, remember that?
Arson Judge is a dead joke, an eyesore. Let it go already.
@utahcornelius- Oh please it’s still funny though. Can you acquire a sense of humor one day? Smh
Grumble. Not to make too much of this, but the Yankees are at this CBT point because of contracts like Hicks and Donaldson.
Yankees should let the kids play. Start Cabrera. Periera will most likely be called up later in the season. I believe he’s the real deal and their future at LF.
@kenlyo- Everson Pereira is going to be a really nice player, and he has so much talent. I agree if the Yankees don’t trade for Ian Happ, then you could definitely see him in leftfield later on in the year. I’d love to see Florial get a real shot out there in left lst.
You’re right Joe. I’m surprised Hicks who has been vocal about his criticisms of the Yankees, is still here .Cashman does not take kindly to those kinds of things. I’m sure he’s done everything he could to move him but there’s no or little interest. there might be a little interest of the Yankees 8/2 of a salary as you suggest, but probably this point Cashman is not willing to do it. Unfortunately. Although I don’t see why, it would still save them $15 million in which case they could use that for another player signing.
I’m guessing Periera will be up next season instead of this season. I do agree he looks like the real deal. Too bad he’s a righty.
Seems Hicks struggles have been much more than two years.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
Spencer Jones and Drew Thorpe
Can remove a lot of salary and add something.
Cashman thinks his vets will bounce back and the Detroit Tigers are too cheap to even bother trying to invest in their own product.
Thats not the market, the cycle or anything other than a lack of respect for your customer…by the Detroit Tigers.
In the next few years I can definitely see an Outfield of Judge, Dominguez, and Jones. So I don’t see the Yankees trading Spencer Jones just to find a taker for Hicks or Donaldson.
The Saber-toothed Superfife
So..what is all the talk? Fake news?
What would it take or what would be fair to take on ~$30Mil?
Truth? Cash has faith in those vets and not interested in salary reduction? Fake.news?
What is worth 30Mil?
I think it’s safe to say that the Yankees are hoping that Cabrera wins that job in the Spring which I think he will. Everson Pereira cannot be ignored in all this though because there’s a good chance he’s the Yankee’s LF at some point early in the season. Then they can move Cabrera to the super utility role where he’ll probably get plenty of ABs. Everyone knows Hicks will be on the IL some time in the first month where he’ll more than likely remain for the rest of the season. I think the Yankees are more focused on moving Donaldson than they are on signing some journeyman LF for no reason at all. They have better options in house than what’s available on the market or through trade and I have a feeling they have someone in mind to play third whether it’s DJ Lemahieu or eventually Volpe. Let’s not forget that Volpe got a promotion to AAA late last season. I could see him up this season for sure.
In the article Cashman says the LF job is Hicks’ to lose, so the Yankees aren’t “hoping that Cabrera wins that job in the Spring” as you suggest. It’s not “safe to say” at all. Cashman wants Hicks because he still refuses to admit he was wrong about him.
@Utah- Yes that definitely makes some sense. I still can’t believe that Hicks has zero interest out there for some team especially if the Yankees pay half of the $30 million owed for 3 more years. Hicksy is definitely worth $15 million over 3 years. Starting to see Hicksy, Deivi and another piece, to Minny for Kepler now or later.
@Mystery Team- I wouldn’t worry about Donny so much for that 1 year truthfully. I think he stays, if DJ is healthy he’ll probably get more reps at 3rd anyway, with Gleyber playing 2nd for 1 more year. I think Volpe is being groomed for 2nd base anyway. If Gleyber gets hot he could always be moved for a left fielder later in the season. Then Volpe can come up and play 2nd base sometime after the All Star Break. I feel Hicks might get DFA’d before August if he’s not traded. I love Florial. I hope he stays. I think this is the Yankee planning. I do respect your comments though, because they make sense. Just curious what fan are you? You have great knowledge, that’s why I ask?
If Peralta goes to NY, I hope he doesn’t bust a Hunter Renfroe on TB.
Left Field was a bugaboo for the Yankees even when they were dominant in the late 90s. Crab isn’t the worst option to get a shot at it, though I’d hope Florial gets more than a courtesy look there in the spring. Once Benintendi came off the market, there really was nothing left worth it.
Funny how Stanton’s name never seems to come up for this. He is a pretty good outfielder and, by his own admission, is a better hitter when he plays the field.
Unlike the NBA, there really isn’t any real benefits to coddling players because of an injury history. I get it with pitchers and long road trips or artificial surfaces. Playing Giancarlo in left two to three times a week so you can DH someone else might lengthen the lineup.
While not a super star, Brett Gardner held down left field for quite a while and did a great job.
As for Stanton, YS has a large left field and the FO has already said he wouldn’t be out there. He could play right and spell Judge some though.
And I would take a 50-year-old Gardy over Aaron Hicks any day. Just his drive & attitude alone make him a far better player, presence, & teammate.
@Clipper- omg please no! If you want Gardy back so bad, you gotta find him and pick him up from the nursing home. Gardy last seen feeding the Pigeons outside the nursing home. I doubt Hicksy is a Yankee past the deadline. We’ll see. Remember after August he’s a 10/5 player. Yanks trying to boost up his trade value, some how by playing him. Good luck. Lol.
They must trade IKF by start of season and let Cabrera battle for shortstop. We need another lefty bat in infield. Just use Florial and Hicks in left. and maybe one will emerge as the starter. I like Florial’s defense over Hicks. Hicks looked like a deer in headlights on defense a lot last year. Florial speed on bases could be a factor in too.
If the Yankees don’t get off to a 45-15 start last season they probably don’t make the playoffs (54-48 the rest of the way). Probably little chance of that happening again since the worst teams they play over the course of their first 60 games is Oakland and Cincinnati. They need to add some more depth. Peralta is nothing to get excited about but solid defense and decent bat-to-ball skills isn’t the worst thing they could get
Absolutely!! I remember the Yankees plans years ago was to have a youthful lineup. This was due to fatigue towards the end of the season and injuries. The youthful lineup didn’t really workout as planned. They also started trading young prospects for former MVP players who were not yet old but very close or player’s determined by the Yankee analytics group that have a tailor-made swing for Yankee stadium. Some of the trades Cashman has made over the years I thought would be great deals but don’t workout. For some reason some players just can’t play well in a Yankee uniform. I feel Yankee prospects aren’t given much of an opportunity when called up to the majors before being sent back down.
Oh nooo Hicks is done,,,do not sign Profar please
What in the blue hell was the point of trading for Bennetendi if you knew you weren’t going to go over the tax to resign him?
The montas trade was a failure and the shoulder injury should have been an obvious red flag not to have made that deal. he’s now your fifth starter at 7+million. Waldichuk could have been your fifth for a fraction of that price, but why trade for Bennetendi?
I mean the folks at home could have done the simple math in realizing what Rodon and Judge were going to cost and where that put the team in the tax brackets. The front office of a multi billion dollar team couldn’t have figured that out? They knew they weren’t going to afford Bennetendi in free agency.
Cashman in a bum
Yankees are fine right now, no team is perfect, just check Fangraphs!
Best team in the league….on paper…..again.
Except for the black holes at third base, left field ,shortstop and catching, they are fine. A catcher it’s acceptable, since they handle the pitching staff but the rest is a problem. But I’m not sure Peralta is the answer is he much of an upgrade over Hicks, I doubt it. and honestly, the Yankees Xpress will show interest in everyone they’re just doing a due diligence. It doesn’t mean it’s serious or amount to anything. And if they were truly interested in someone, they should do something already. And as far as his goals, even though the Yankees or short on finances lol, I’m still surprised that Hicks is here. Cashman does not usually take well to players like Hicks criticizing the team and how they operate in the media ,as Hicks has
done. I’m sure they will get rid of him as soon as they can, if they can. I doubt this much interest around the league, unless the Yankees eat a sizable portion of his salary.
I don’t see black holes at shortstop and catcher. The Yankee backstops aren’t sluggers, but they scored more runs than the Astros last year, and Trevino won a Platinum Glove. The only reason I’d be concerned at short would be if they insisted on starting IKF over Peraza. I can see Cashman doing something like that, just as I can see him starting Hicks over Cabrera.