With injuries taking hold of the New York Yankees roster, general manager Brian Cashman decided to make a move on Friday to acquire another utility man. 26-year-old Jake Bauers was on their shortlist, as the Yankees and Cincinnati Reds connected on a deal that would send the former seventh-round pick from 2013 to the Bronx.
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Per the Yankees:
The Yankees have acquired INF/OF Jake Bauers from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations.
Cashman gave up cash considerations in exchange for Bauers, who hasn’t made an appearance in the bigs this season but spent 2021 with Cleveland and Seattle at the Major League level. He hit a combined .209 over 315 plate appearances, hitting four homers and 19 RBIs.
This is a strange acquisition for the Bombers, considering Bauers doesn’t host a tremendous amount of power, despite hitting 12 homers back in 2019 with Cleveland.
Bauers has spent the majority of the 2022 season in Louisville with Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate. Over 29 games, he’s hitting a measly .135 with three homers and 12 RBIs. This is a very odd transaction when looking at his statistics, but he has shown some adequacy on the base paths, stealing six last year over 115 games.
This could be more of a defensive move since Bauers has experience playing in the outfield and first base. He played 354 innings at first last year and didn’t give up an error, hosting a perfect fielding percentage. Maybe, the Yankees see something offensively that they can extrapolate on while helping develop his defense even further.
Two numbers that stand out are his hard-hit percentage at 36.6% and 88.1 mph exit velocity. Given his lefty bat, maybe he can take advantage of the Yankees’ short right porch more frequently, boosting his HR numbers of called upon.