Yankees infielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza field balls during spring...

Yankees infielders Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza field balls during spring training. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

JUPITER, Fla. — The Yankees’ $300 million-plus payroll is so lofty going into the season that any new free agent they sign will cost more than double the player’s salary.

The oft-cited example you’ve probably heard is that adding Blake Snell for $30 million for this season actually would cost the Yankees $63 million because of a 110% luxury tax. That’s a lot of cake, even for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner.

That’s why it was interesting last week to hear veteran utilityman Enrique Hernandez say after signing a one-year, $4 million contract with the Dodgers: “At the end, it came down to the Dodgers or Yankees,” and that he chose Los Angeles because he saw a chance for more playing time.

“[The Dodgers] have a lot of lefthanded hitters in their lineup,” Hernandez, a righthanded hitter who can play the infield and outfield, told the “Foul Territory” podcast. “The main reason was they were able to guarantee me to start — at least against lefthanded pitchers — to start the year and then from there on, anything can happen.”

If the Yankees were willing to match the Dodgers’ offer, Hernandez would have cost them more than $8 million. Does the potential willingness to spend that big mean the Yankees think they have a need that isn’t going to be satisfied by the players they have in camp?

“It’s not necessarily something that we’re looking for [outside the organization],” manager Aaron Boone said on Monday before the Yankees played Miami at Roger Dean Stadium. “[Hernandez] happened to be a guy that was, like, of real interest. So we’re not necessarily going to chase that. But when certain things become a possibility, we’re always looking. That one fell through, but we’ll see.”

The leading candidates for what look like two backup infield/outfield spots on the 26-man Opening Day roster are Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza. Both youngsters struggled offensively in the majors in 2023.

Cabrera, who started in rightfield on Monday, is batting .067 (1-for-15) after going 0-for-3 against the Marlins. Cabrera, 25, should have a leg up because he can play the infield and outfield while the 23-year-old Peraza is infield only.

Peraza is expected to return to action on Tuesday against the Mets in Port St. Lucie after missing all but one spring training game with a sore throwing shoulder.

Other possibilities for bench roles include Jahmai Jones (whom the Yankees claimed off waivers from Milwaukee last week), and non-roster players Kevin Smith, Jeter Downs and Josh VanMeter.

“A lot of them [candidates] are here right now,” Boone said. “So we’re kind of looking at all of it.”

But if none of those options wow the Yankees, and if the club decides Cabrera and/or Peraza would be better served playing every day in Triple-A, then you can see why general manager Brian Cashman made what would have been an extra-expensive play for the 32-year-old Hernandez, who split last season between the Dodgers and Red Sox.

Peraza still is one of the Yankees’ top prospects, but his star may have fallen around the league after he hit .191 in 52 games in the majors last season. A good offensive start at Triple-A could help rebuild his value.

Said Boone: “You’re always weighing with young players — especially ones that you feel like could be everyday [players] — weighing where’s the give and take in the benefit of being here, being a part of things, or playing every day [in the minors]. You’ve got to weigh those things. First and foremost, just want to get him going and hopefully get him playing well. And then we’ll make those kinds of decisions.’’

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