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Yankees Mailbag: Managing the infield and Domínguez hype

The mailbag zeroes in on the infield jam with a particular solution being pitched.

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Darth_Lazarus asks: It’s not the sexiest trade, but does an IKF for Chris Taylor make sense? Taylor is a in/of like Cabrera with more pop than IKF.

For the Yankees, I suppose this could work — I am not a believer in the Aaron Hicks turnaround, and taking from a surplus to get even a decent placeholder for left field seems like a better solution than doing nothing. That being said, I don’t think a one-for-one trade here would work out, as Taylor has shown more upside in his career and is only a year removed from being an All-Star. It wouldn’t take a major prospect, but the Yankees would have to give something else on top to make it feasible.

Speaking of feasible though, the reason why I don’t think this is that likely is the Dodgers could simply use Taylor more and already have him on their roster. Taylor’s versatility means that he could easily slide into second base and occasionally shortstop and allow Miguel Rojas to take hold of the majority of the starts at shortstop for the Dodgers in Gavin Lux’s absence, which to me that makes a better infield than one where Rojas stays at second and IKF is brought in to play short. They signed David Peralta late in the offseason to add some outfield depth and are now in a position to use it, freeing up a starting spot in left field for him. All signs point to the Dodgers being set in this regard, so unless another shoe drops before Opening Day I don’t think there’s any traction here.

MSP Giant asks: Risk tolerance. If BOTH Volpe and Peraza out play IKF, who is the starter on Opening Day?

I think this question depends on Gleyber Torres’ status more, because there’s a world where both of them can become starters. Given the scenario where he is locked in at second base, however, I think the team would play it safe if both seem ready and play Peraza. It’s a tremendous advantage to already be on the major-league roster when making these comparisons, and if you have two top prospects performing up to expectations then the choice remains relatively easy.

The toughest case would be one where Peraza does well enough but Volpe scorches the field with his bat — given the recent rules change to incentivize teams promoting their prospects early in the hopes of getting more draft picks off of successful rookie of the year campaigns, would that open the door to rostering both even if the playing time isn’t as guaranteed as having one in Triple-A? Volpe’s off to a fantastic start so far, but given his rockier performance in Scranton to end the year he’s going to have to drive the ball all throughout spring to make that impression land.

BFear04 asks: As far as Domínguez, nice long ball, sure. Yet it’ll be some time before he plays at Yankee Stadium, so I say we trade him now as his ‘hype’ is high. Let’s send him in a trade for the infield/outfield.

The tide may have passed on this mindset, in terms of Domínguez’s arrival time. Domínguez torched the scene in Double-A during his short stint at the end of the year, and in total his 2022 season put a lot of the shine back on his highly-touted scouting report. He’s expected to pick up right at the level that he ended, and another solid year here with perhaps some time at Triple-A towards the end of the year if his trajectory remains the same puts him in line to be pushing for a Bronx callup by next year. That’s not something to dream on, that’s real production coming soon, and since they ultimately didn’t pull the trigger on trading him at last year’s deadline I don’t think it’s in the cards anymore.