Yankees punted chance to trade for red-hot Rockies outfielder

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ approach at the trade deadline left many disappointed. Despite a need for offensive firepower, the team’s management failed to make major moves to bolster their position in the Wild Card race. This article delves into the Yankees’ trade deadline decisions, with a specific focus on their connection to Colorado Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk and why the deal didn’t happen.

Yankees’ Needs and Missed Opportunities

The Yankees were in dire need of offensive bats, not more bullpen arms. They were linked to several outfielders, including Cody Bellinger of the Chicago Cubs and targets from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Randal Grichuk: The One That Got Away

One of the more intriguing names connected to the Yankees was 31-year-old outfielder Randal Grichuk, who is preparing to hit free agency in 2024.

Grichuk’s Season So Far

Grichuk is hitting an impressive .296 with a .349 OBP this season, including 10 homers, 29 RBIs, a 21.1% strikeout rate, a 6.4% walk rate, and 112 wRC+. Despite ending up with the Los Angeles Angels, his offensive statistics would have been valuable to the Yankees.

The Reason Behind the Missed Opportunity

The Yankees’ analytical department reportedly decided against acquiring Grichuk, likely due to his below-average defense. From NJ.com:

Even last month, according to an industry source, the Yankees could’ve made a deadline deal for outfielder Randal Grichuk, who was batting .308 with the Rockies. But what would’ve been a two-month rental before Grichuk’s free agency was voted down by the club’s analysts.

Grichuk’s Defensive Concerns

With 526.2 innings in the outfield this year, Grichuk has a .983 fielding percentage but -8 defensive runs saved and -7 outs above average. His defensive limitations might have swayed the Yankees’ decision.

The Influence of the Analytical Department

The decision not to pursue Grichuk sheds light on the significant influence the Yankees’ analytical department has on trades. General manager Brian Cashman seems to lean on the numbers game, which might explain why they didn’t pull the trigger on this deal.

The Current State of the Yankees’ Outfield

The Yankees have rotated various outfielders this season, including Jake Bauers, Billy McKinney, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Greg Allen.

Promising Prospect: Everson Pereira

Reports suggest the team is planning to promote Everson Pereira, a red-hot prospect currently excelling in AAA. Pereira, with strong defensive tools and offensive upside, could be a valuable addition without compromising his service time.

A Cautionary Tale for the Yankees

The Yankees’ inability to seize the opportunity to acquire Grichuk reflects a cautious approach that may hinder their competitiveness in the Wild Card race. While concerns about defense are valid, Grichuk’s offensive numbers could have provided a much-needed boost. This situation serves as a reminder that balancing analytics with immediate team needs is crucial for success. The spotlight now shifts to Pereira and the existing outfield rotation to deliver in the crucial final stretch of the season.

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