Harrison Bader, the New York Yankees‘ former centerfielder, has entered free agency. His journey with the Yankees was short-lived after being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Jordan Montgomery in 2022. Bader’s time with the team ended when he was waived in August 2023, having played in just 98 games.
Defensive Prowess and Offensive Struggles
Known for his defensive capabilities, Bader struggled offensively, a stark contrast to his otherwise excellent fielding. Despite a remarkable 2022 postseason performance, his batting average sat at .237 with an OPS+ of 72 during his regular-season tenure with the Yankees, contributing to the team’s offensive challenges in 2023.
Prospect Jasson Dominguez’s Injury and Replacement Options
With Jasson Dominguez, the Yankees’ top prospect, sidelined with a UCL injury until mid-2024, the team faces the task of finding a temporary replacement. Potential internal candidates include Estevan Florial, Everson Pereira, and Oswaldo Cabrera. Yet, the Yankees might also consider re-signing Bader as they navigate their options.
The Aftermath of the Montgomery-Bader Trade
Reflecting on the trade, the exchange of Montgomery for Bader appears to be one of general manager Brian Cashman’s significant missteps. Montgomery has excelled with the Texas Rangers, securing a World Series title and boasting a 3.17 ERA with 227 strikeouts across his tenure with the Cardinals and Rangers.
Yankees Moving on From Bader
Considering Bader’s underperformance and Montgomery’s success, the recommendation is clear: the Yankees should steer clear of offering Bader another opportunity. It would be in the team’s best interest to seek alternatives that ensure a stronger and more reliable outfield presence.
As the Yankees gear up for the open market, expectations are high for them to be proactive in bolstering their roster to rebound from a disappointing 2023 season.