The New York Yankees desperately need a new utility man after letting Tyler Wade and Rougned Odor walk this offseason without much resistance.
General manager Brian Cashman must have a plan in mind to replace both players, who valiantly stepped in and supplemented injuries this past season in both the outfield and infield. Wade featured in 103 games, earning a .268 average with five RBIs and 17 stolen bases, a career-high.
Odor, on the other hand, played in 102 games, posting a .202 average with 15 homers and 39 RBIs. The Yankees actually received decent slugging production out of Odor, but his lack of contact-hitting and near 30% strikeout rate is simply unsustainable in a lineup that features too many big bats.
However, if the Yankees are looking for a player who can contribute at multiple positions defensively and offers stellar offensive play, Kris Bryant of the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs could fit the bill.
What would Bryant offer the Yankees?
Bryant played for both Chicago and San Francisco this past season at 29-years-old, earning an All-Star appearance, his fourth in seven years. He posted a combined .265 average with 25 homers, 73 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases over 144 games.
The veteran utility man has a reliable health history, making him an even more attractive prospect for Cashman. He signed a one-year, $19.5 million deal this past off-season, and after posting another productive campaign, he could be in line for a similar contract, if not a multi-year deal.
Bryant has experience playing nearly every position in the infield and outfield. This past year, he spent 10 or more games in center field, right field, left field, third base, and first base. With that type of utility, the Yankees would be ecstatic about his services. He could fill in for most injured players, and God knows the Yankees will be dealing with it next season as they do every year.
At third base, Kris experienced his most struggles, posting a. 946 fielding percentage with six errors and a -2 defensive runs saved above average. He had more success in the outfield, but he’s capable of moving around the infield at both corners.
Depending on how much Cashman is willing to spend on a utility man, Bryant would be a fantastic solution who can play on an everyday basis if need be. Given Brett Gardner was forced into a starting role last year, having a high-end backup is always a necessity.