New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made significant moves to strengthen the outfield this offseason.
He acquired Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox, then traded several pitchers to sign Juan Soto and Trent Grisham. The new starting unit should look like Soto in right field, Verdugo in left field and Aaron Judge in center. That would leave Grisham and Giancarlo Stanton as the primary backups. Grisham is a two-time Gold Glove-winning outfielder, and Stanton, while largely ineffective as a defensive player, will be the team’s primary hitter moving forward. The Yankees have had a number of disappointing talents in 2023, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswaldo Cabrera, Billy McKinney and Jake Bauers used prominently in the outfield – not to mention the legendary bat of Franchy Cordero. Most of them have struggled offensively, but the Yankees shouldn’t have that problem with two Hall of Fame level bats next year. However, the path for 22-year-old Everson Pereira to break into the team has become much more difficult. In fact, Pereira could provide the team with a better trade piece than a true on-field asset in 2024. Pereira has plenty of value as he dominated in Double-A and Triple-A last season. He began his campaign with Somerset, playing 46 games and hitting .291/.36/.545. in Triple-A over 35 games, he hit .312/.386/.551. Obviously, he offered significant offensive upside and good defense at any outfield position, but his numbers dropped significantly when he entered the MLB, an expected result.Pereira saw his strikeout rate increase 10%, hitting .151/.233/.194 in 27 major league games. He has hosted 23 WRC+, so his transition phase is definitely still in flux and needs more experience. Unfortunately, the Yankees don’t have enough open spots to land notable MLB reps, so utilizing his talent as a pitcher could be ideal.Currently, the Yankees have Estevan Florial and Oscar Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, so they will be in play. The team still has Oswaldo Cabrera as their primary provider and Jasson Dominguez will report as soon as he returns from Tommy John surgery.Not to mention the development of Spencer Jones, who has significant upside potential and could easily replace Pereira in the future. It’s safe to say that the best use of his talent on the market is possible, especially if the Yankees can move him to a pitcher like Shane Bieber, who is coming off his senior year and is in his final year of arbitration.