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Yankees fans may be frustrated with the MLB Lockout, but it hasn’t stopped the franchise from making a big free agent signing on the international market.
Yankee fans waiting to see their favorite team land a big name starting shortstop for the 2022 season need to wait for the MLB Lockout to conclude. The current work stoppage hasn’t stopped Brian Cashman from potentially landing the franchise’s future starter at the key infield position though.
Roderick Arias is widely considered to be the top international amateur free agent on the market this season and he’s primed to sign with New York. According to MLB sources, the Yankees will dole out $3.5 million to land the switch-hitting shortstop. That still leaves Cashman and his front office a little over $1.5 million to work with in the international market but Arias will clearly be the organization’s most high-profile addition.
Adding the No. 1 rated prospect is always advisable for the team, but it’s interesting that Cashman greenlit such a big signing bonus for a player who occupies the same position as the team’s top two prospects at the moment. Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza both have bright futures in the Bronx and project as, at the very minimum, quality shortstops at the big league level. The Yankees will hope Arias can slot in behind them as another shortstop prospect who can quickly occupy a top-10 spot in the organization’s prospect rankings.
It’s smart for Cashman and his front office to ignore the idea of signing too many quality shortstops. It’s a premium position and if Volpe, Peraza, and Arias all work out it will give the organization a tremendous combination of depth and high-value trade chips.
As a prospect, Arias profiles as an above-average defender on the back of his plus arm strength. He doesn’t have exceptional range for his position, but he does show quality footwork and soft hands for a middle infielder.
There’s also quite a bit to like about Arias as a hitter. He shows good pop from both sides of the plate as well as advanced contact skills for his age. Arias is just the sort of toolsy prospect that New York likes to gamble on in their farm system.
Arias won’t help the Yankees in the majors anytime soon, but it’s another good international signing for the club. He’s a high-quality prospect at a high-value position whose signing will only strengthen the ceiling and depth of New York’s farm system.