With the MLB trade deadline quickly approaching, the New York Yankees are looking to make improvements, specifically in the starting pitching rotation and outfield. With Joey Gallo struggling significantly, general manager Brian Cashman needs a supplement, especially when it comes to mitigating fatigue down the stretch for players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
The primary name that has been circling the Yankees is Andrew Benintendi, but fellow teammate with the Kansas City Royals, Michael Taylor, could also be on the team’s radar.
According to John Morosi of MLB Network, the Yankees have checked in on Michael Taylor of KC, their centerfielder.
#Yankees are looking at a number of outfielders on the trade market, with #Royals CF Michael A. Taylor among them. Taylor won a Gold Glove in center last year and would help Aaron Boone to keep Judge, Stanton, and Hicks healthy in 2nd half and postseason. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 11, 2022
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What would Michael Taylor bring to the Yankees?
Taylor won a Gold Glove in centerfield last year at 30 years old. This season, he’s 31, signed to a two-year, $9 million contract, paying him $4.5 million per season.
At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, Taylor is hitting .264 with a 34% on-base rate this season, including five homers and 24 RBIs. He features a 23.7% strikeout rate and 10.2% walk rate, but he bats from the right side, which will take away from the short right porch in Yankee stadium.
Taylor hosts a 30.3% hard-hit rate, 6.5% barrel percentage, and 14.3° of launch angle. He’s not necessarily known to be a slugger, having hit a career-high 19 homers back in 2017. The most he’s hit since then was 12 in 2021, showcasing better contact capabilities.
Defensively, Taylor is a primary centerfielder, playing 536 innings this season with a .987 fielding percentage and two errors.
Taylor has solid defensive capabilities and a good on-base rate. He’s hitting .304 against fastballs and .300 against offspeed pitches. Breaking balls are his biggest struggle, hitting .197 with a 44.2% WHIFF rate.
If the Yankees don’t want to pillage their farm system for an above-average player who can push their offense over the edge, Taylor is a good supplement to get on base and provides reliable defense. However, he’s not going to make the team that much better, so Andrew Benintendi would be the preferred option if the Yankees are going to trade with the Kansas City Royals.