The Yankees’ outfield situation when it comes to its depth appears to be in flux as uncertainty surrounds the futures of Mike Tauchman and Jay Bruce.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported on Thursday morning that the Yankees are receiving trade interest in Tauchman, but they’re valuing him at his 2019 production numbers when he slashed .277/.361/.504 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI in 87 games.
The Yankees are supposedly looking for “a controllable reliever or another piece of real value,” per Martino.
The issue with the Yankees’ mindset is that the 2019 season was an outlier for Tauchman. He batted .153 in his first two MLB seasons with the Colorado Rockies and batted .242 with a meager .648 OPS last year in 43 games with the Yankees while battling injury issues.
Should no team meet general manager Brian Cashman’s supposed asking price and the Yankees opt to also keep Jay Bruce, they’d have to option a player like utility infielder Tyler Wade, leaving the Yankees thin on infield depth.
At 33 years old, Bruce had a strong start to the spring with two early home runs that ingratiated himself to the Yankees, who appear keen on keeping him. He has extra value because the natural corner outfielder is also an option to be Luke Voit’s immediate backup at first base, allowing DJ LeMahieu to work almost exclusively at second or third base.
Their deadline on Bruce’s future in pinstripes is Thursday, as general manager Brian Cashman has to decide whether or not to put the veteran on the big-league roster and pay him $1.5 million.
If he doesn’t, Bruce can trigger his opt-out clause, allowing any team, including the Yankees, to pick him up and add him to their big-league roster over the next 48 hours.