Is Tyler Wade the outfield answer for the Yankees in 2020?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

With the expectation being Clint Frazier could be traded during the 2020 offseason, the Yankees will have to find value elsewhere in the outfield to supplement injuries. Center fielder Aaron Hicks is already scheduled to miss time after having Tommy John surgery, which will put the unit at a disadvantage entering the season.

The Yankees, however, have several options to choose from, including re-signing Brett Gardner to play his usual utility role in the outfield. Alternatively, they have Mike Tauchman, who emerged as a reliable player, hitting .277 with 13 homers over 280 at-bats.

The third option is Tyler Wade, who didn’t spend a ton of time at the Major League level last season, but did show defensive versatility, base running prowess, and was consistently average at the plate. Combine those three successes, and you have a player ready to take a small step in the coming season.

Wade won’t be a starting player for the Yankees, but he can undoubtedly be a consistent reserve option, similar to the role Cameron Maybin and Tauchman played in 2019.

2019 Statistics: 43 games, 108 plate appearances, .245/.330/.362, 2 home runs, 16 runs, 7/7 stolen bases, 88 wRC+, 0.3 WAR

One of the more attractive attributes Wade possesses is his grit. After being left behind in Scranton for Tauchman, Wade was “very pissed” about the decision. He joined the Yankees five games into the season, but he was sent back to Scranton after 18 games at the top-level. He appeared once at five different positions during that span — shortstop, third base, left field, right field, and second base.

The value Wade holds is enormous, considering his ability to play in the outfield and infield. He can be the ultimate utility option behind DJ LeMahieu, who’s best suited at second and first base.

One optimistic fact to consider was that Wade was included in the ALDS roster, despite not playing a single second. Manager Aaron Boone values him in case of injuries. If he can continue to build upon his past production, he could find himself as a prioritized utility player when the injury bug inevitably hits.