With Harrison Bader in the fold, what is the Yankees future outfield plans?

Daniel Cunningham
yankees, harrison bader
Jun 17, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader (48) reacts after hitting a RBI triple against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees made a head scratching move just before the trade deadline. The Bombers traded away starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals for Gold Glove centerfielder Harrison Bader. 

It was confusing because nobody expected the Yankees to subject from their rotation when that was an area of need. However, New York didn’t think Montgomery would pitch meaningful games in the playoffs and they love what Bader brings to the table.

Personally, I think New York was really trying to get Pablo Lopez in addition to this move, but it never materialized. Nevertheless, this move was made and now New York has Harrison Bader. 

Bader is currently on the IL and isn’t expected back until mid-September. Whenever he does return, there is some belief that he will slide right into centerfield for the Yankees. This move is definitely going to push some pressure on Aaron Hicks.

Speaking of Hicks, this move got me thinking about the outfield moving forward even after this year. The Yankees will have Bader next year as he’s still under team control. What will New York do with their outfield spots?

Yankees outfield rotation moving forward

If Bader comes in and has a big impact and Benintendi gets going, Aaron Hicks is going to be a bench player in the playoffs. He’s been abysmal most of the season anyway so I don’t think the Yankees are going to be missing much.

Unfortunately for folks who can’t stand Hicks, he’s probably going to be a big factor next year. There are whispers that New York will look to dump Hicks in the offseason, but there’s no guarantee that happens.

From my understanding, if the Yankees had it their way, they’d dump Hicks and Florial would get a shot next year. In this scenario, we are going to assume that Aaron Judge signs his extension with the Yankees.

The rotation would be Judge, Florial, Bader, and Stanton. Stanton would get corner reps while Florial and Bader would man center and left. Of course, if they can’t deal Hicks, you’re likely looking at Florial getting dealt.

I’m fully expecting Harrison Bader to be the starting centerfielder for the Yankees once he’s healthy. Then it becomes a matter of what happens in left field. I don’t think they’ll resign Benintendi. So either Hicks stays and Florial gets dealt, or they finally dump Hicks and Florial gets his shot. What do you think should happen?