The New York Yankees are always looking for talented depth pieces, which is why they could bring back former utilityman Tyler Wade. Wade was DFAd the Los Angeles Angels this past weekend, struggling on the offensive side to make an impact.
This season, Wade has made 67 appearances with 147 at-bats, hitting .218 with a 27% on-base rate. The Angels were utilizing him in a far more prominent way than the Yankees did in the past, having just enjoyed 145 plate appearances during the 2021 season. With that extra playing time, Wade was unable to produce in the batter’s box, but has stolen eight bases this year, showcasing his speed and athleticism.
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A return to the Yankees makes sense for Wade:
Given his familiarity with the Yankees, general manager Brian Cashman could easily sign him back for next to nothing, providing even more depth and speed on the base paths.
Wade has experience at multiple infield and outfield spots. Over the years, he’s played second base, third base, shortstop, and every outfield position to help the Yankees. That type of versatility is extremely valuable, but there are other situational scenarios where Tyler can make an impact.
For example, if the Yankees find themselves in extra innings with a runner starting on second base, they could bring in Wade to run the base paths. All you need is a bloop single for Wade to score from second base, but he’s also capable of moving forward on ground balls or simple pop flies to the outfield.
Last season for the Yankees, Wade hit .268 with a 35% on-base rate. While he was striking out at 25.5%, he did feature an 11% walk rate and stole 17 bases. He posted a career-best 92 wRC+. That number indicates he was only 8% worse than the average major-league player, but he has tons of value if utilized strategically.
Wade signed a one-year, $825K deal with the Angels this past off-season, so the Yankees would be getting him for next to nothing. They can send them to Triple-A until needed.