The New York Yankees are dealing with significant issues in the outfield, with Aaron Hicks expected to miss the remainder of the 2021 season, Giancarlo Stanton dealing with a quad injury, and Ryan LaMarre pulling his hamstring last week. Ultimately, the team has been forced to lean on their reserve options, including the 38-year-old Brett Gardner, raw defensive player Miguel Andujar, and finally gained back Clint Frazier after dealing with a stiff neck the past few days.
Thereâ€™s no doubt that the team could be considering alternative options at the trade deadline for another player. The Yankees have had success with depth pieces in the past, and there are a few on the market that could offer something similar in terms of value and production.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are intrigued by Rangers’ Delino DeShields Jr., who could offer salvation in the outfield with injuries continuing to pile up and some reserve pieces continuing the struggle.
Deshields is an interesting player, having played five seasons with the Texas Rangers to open his career and spent last season with a Cleveland Indians, playing in 37 games. However, he made his way back to Texas this past off-season on a minor-league deal, spending the majority of his time with their affiliate in Triple-A.
The 28-year-old has started off his campaign very nicely, enjoying 59 at-bats and hitting .365 with two homers and seven RBIs. Thereâ€™s no question heâ€™s ready to take the champ to the MLB level, and as a stout defender, he would offer a bit of consistency for the Yankees’ outfield.
Last season with Cleveland, he hit .252 with a 24.2% strike-out rate. He represents more of a contact hitter, never impressing in the WAR category but offering adequate play as a reserve/depth piece.
Considering heâ€™s currently sitting at a Texas affiliate team, I imagine he wouldnâ€™t be a costly acquisition for the Yankees. Sometimes, wearing the pinstripes can motivate a player, which leads me to believe the Yankees might be able to extract more value from DeShields than Texas has managed. Nonetheless, he is a player to keep an eye on as the Yankees’ outfield is in flux.