The New York Yankees are poised to make several intriguing roster decisions following the addition of Greg Allen and the anticipated return of Giancarlo Stanton.
With increased support in the outfield, manager Aaron Boone and his coaching staff will need to relegate or DFA (designate for assignment) a few players.
“We’ll get together and see what we’re going to do,” manager Aaron Boone said.
The addition of Allen undoubtedly infuses more agility and athleticism into the Yankees’ outfield. Allen played 15 games for the Yankees in 2021, with a batting average of .270, a .417 OBP, a 10.4% walk rate, and a 141 wRC+.
Ultimately, Allen serves more as a supporting player than a bona fide starter. However, with no firmly established player in left field, an opportunity for competition arises.
Boone has expressed his admiration for Allen, particularly highlighting his base-stealing prowess. The 30-year-old outfielder has stolen 23 bases at the Triple-A level this season.
“Switch hitter, versatility, good at the role,” Boone said. “He can run. He’s stealing a ton of bases down in Triple-A. He’s very good at doing that. He’s played here before and has done a really nice job with us in the past. So it’s a chance to add a little bit of depth.”
Here are three players the Yankees could consider for demotion or DFA:
1.) Aaron Hicks
Although Aaron Hicks recently managed a three-hit performance, he’s still batting .186 with a .260 OBP across 46 games. With only two home runs and eight RBIs, Hicks has been a net detriment, recording a 52 wRC+ and a 31.3% strikeout rate.
When Hicks was underperforming offensively, his defensive abilities typically redeemed him, but that’s no longer the case. The sole reason for Hicks remaining on the roster is his $10 million salary for the next two seasons.
2.) Willie Calhoun
Another demotion candidate is 28-year-old outfielder Willie Calhoun. Calhoun is batting .232 with a .299 OBP this year. Though he’s hit three home runs, his deficiencies in fielding significantly diminish his value.
In Stanton’s absence, Calhoun has been a respectable designated hitter, but he might be one of the first to leave when Stanton is ready to return from his hamstring injury.
3.) Jake Bauers
The Yankees have recently been deploying Jake Bauers as their top batter and starting left fielder. The 27-year-old excelled at the Triple-A level before his promotion. Currently, he’s batting .212 with a .325 OBP, but his 101 wRC+ maintains his relevance and justifies his roster spot.
Looking at the stats, it would make the most sense to part ways with Hicks or reassign Calhoun to Triple-A. Considering the Yankees are already absorbing the cost of several underperforming players, it’s feasible to replace Hicks’s output with an average player, which Greg Allen appears to be. However, if Cashman could manage to trade a portion of his salary, that would be ideal.