Yankees News: Mike Tauchman a trade candidate, but should they pull the trigger?

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees
Apr 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Mike Tauchman (39) watches his three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees brought on several outfielders to compete during spring training this year, and it could create a more difficult situation for Mike Tauchman to make the active roster. From signing Jay Bruce to Derek Dietrich, the position bottle for a depth spot in the OF will be ongoing during spring training.

Currently, the Yankees have Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, and Aaron Hicks as their expected starters for the 2021 season. The depth pieces include Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and a bevy of alternatives. Tauchman could be considered a trade piece given his value over the last two seasons, as he hit .277 in 2019 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs. An outrageous boost in slugging, Mike had never hit a major league homer until 2019, which could be coughed up to juiced baseballs.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal believes that Mike Tauchman could be cut due to depth in the outfield:

Brett Gardner, 37, would appear a lock to make the club after agreeing to a one-year, $4 million free-agent contract. Jay Bruce, who turns 34 on April 3, is in camp on a non-roster deal, but he offers one thing Gardner and Tauchman do not: the ability to play first base … Tauchman is out of options, so the Yankees cannot send him to the minor leagues without first passing him through waivers. A trade might be possible, particularly to a lesser team that could give him regular playing time. But the Yankees would need to be sure about Gardner and Bruce, both of whom are signed for only one year, to give up Tauchman’s four remaining years of control, including a salary in the range of the $570,500 minimum this season.

With the Yankees’ style of play, Jay Bruce may offer them a more productive alternative. He has hit double-digit home runs for the majority of his career, landing 26 two years ago. While he only played about half of the 2020 season, he recorded six homers.
Defense isn’t the hallmark of his game — he can contribute offensively and offer a lefty bat in the lineup. At 33 years old, Bruce is no spring chicken, but he might be a more beneficial add than Tauchman based on scheme fit.