New York Yankees news, rumors: Underrated utility player, JA Happ replacement

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees continue to hurl money in different directions to increase their probability of earning a World Series appearance in 2020. So far, they’ve made the right decisions to see them to the reality they desire. Signing Gerrit Cole was the first step in achieving a goal that has evaded them for a decade now, but the offseason isn’t over for GM Brian Cashman.

With talks proceeding with Josh Hader of the Brewers, the Bombers may add another quality arm to their bullpen with the departure of Dellin Betances, leaving a potential void. Factor in Nestor Cortes Jr. being traded and the Yankees will undoubtedly be adding a relief pitcher to supplement the losses.

Hader would be a luxury, but settling for a lesser option like Alex Wood makes more monetary sense. However, Cashman doesn’t seem too intimidate by the luxury tax. J.A. Happ is still an expected trade piece, since he’s scheduled to make $17 million last season and was unusable as a regular starter in 2019. Replacing him should be no problem with the return of Jordan Montgomery, a sub-.400 ERA pitcher in his two lone seasons as a starter for the Yanks.

Do the New York Yankees have enough utility options?

Reports of the Yankees in search of another utility player have bubbled to the surface, but they should remain steady and give Tyler Wade the playing time he deserves. Wade doesn’t acquire a devastating bat, but he’s a solid defender, with the ability to play infield and outfield adequately. He’s also a stellar base runner, utilizing his agility and speed. Factor in his lefty bat, and Wade can be a very productive player if given the reps.

The Yankees need to give some of their lesser-used players a chance, instead of continuing to address needs through high-priced free agents or trades. Wade has the potential to be an influence, but he’s played springing the past few seasons.

Earlier in 2019, Wade was upset at being assigned to AAA-Ball, stating:

“Very disappointing. It blindsided me,’’ said Wade, after losing his spot to Mike Tauchman. “I did everything they asked me to do this spring and I played well and now my defense isn’t good enough.’’

Giving him a consistent chance should be a priority for the Bombers in 2020, as Wade has untapped potential.

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