New York Yankees: It’s time to move on from Tyler Wade

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Coming into Spring Training, it was expected that Tyler Wade would assume the role of the New York Yankees utility man. His speed and ability to play both infield and outfield made the team high on him despite his poor hitting. However, things could potentially be changing for the 26-year-old. Wade has struggled this spring and hasn’t shown any improvement on the offensive end since his debut in 2017. Could this potentially be the end of the road for Wade?

Fortunately for him, his competitors for the utility role haven’t performed well either. However, manager Aaron Boone said earlier in Spring Training that he wants experience on his roster. Wade doesn’t have a ton of MLB experience, but eight-year veteran Derek Dietrich does.

Dietrich gives the Yankees lefty power, something the team really lacks. A guy like Tyler Wade doesn’t have home run power, but can put balls in the gap for doubles. Three of his seven hits this spring are for extra bases. Dietrich has had stronger power numbers in the last few seasons, even putting up an OPS greater than .800 in 2020 despite a sub-.200 batting average.

As mentioned earlier, the downside of having Dietrich over Wade is speed and defense. Altough Dietrich can play second, third, and left field, he isn’t a strong defender nor very fast. If the team had greater roster space, both players would be assets to the MLB team, but it doesn’t seem plausible to carry both right now. The team would rather carry another pitcher over a back-up infielder.

A third player in the equation is Thairo Estrada. In 23 Spring Training plate appearance, his OPS is below .600, giving him a very low chance to make the team. Similarly to Wade, Estrada is fast and versatile but lacks a lot of offense. He does, however, have more pop in his bat compared to Wade.

So, by the looks of it, Derek Dietrich could be on the MLB roster to open up the 2021 season. The only problem is that the Yankees 40-man roster is full, meaning the team would have to clear space to sign him to a MLB contract. In addition to Dietrich, Jay Bruce is seemingly in a similar position, as he’s had a strong Spring Training and in position to make the team.

The Yankees will have tough decisions if they want to keep both Dietrich and Bruce on the team. One name that comes to mind as to who could be moved is Mike Tauchman. Tauchman bat just .208 with a .698 OPS this spring and could be on his way out. He struggled last season as well, but if the Yankees were to place him on waivers, it shouldn’t take long for him to be picked up by a team.

Another name who could be on the move is Mike Ford. He’s just 3-for-23 this spring, and is coming off a disappointing 2020 campaign that saw him go 7-of-36.

The Yankees could also consider moving on from Tyler Wade completely. He has a minor league option remaining, however, a change of scenery could be what’s best for him. If he were to have an opportunity with a rebuilding franchise, it could be his best chance to make a serious major league career. The way he’s going with the Yankees, he’ll never get the opportunity he truly desires.

Wade is entering the prime of this career, and he certainly doesn’t want to spend it on the Yankees bench or in AAA. DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, meaning Wade will never get an extended starting opportunity in New York. Moving on from Wade will give Derek Dietrich a shot with the Yankees and allow for Wade to have an opportunity with another team.

New York Yankees: Three power-hitters in contention for roster spots after week one of Spring Training

New York Yankees, Derek Dietrich

A week of Spring Training games is already in the books, and we’ve seen lots of positives so far for the New York Yankees. Gary Sanchez has gotten off to a strong start, Aaron Judge is hitting the ball well, and DJ LeMahieu can’t get out. Another positive we’ve seen is some depth guys performing well to start Spring Training. Here are three power hitters who are in contention for roster spots after week one.

Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce has made a big splash so far in Spring Training. He’s gotten hits in four of his six at-bats and he slugged a home run in yesterday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bruce is a lefty, something the Yankees don’t have many of, so he could be in contention for a bench spot on the Yankees’ roster. His defense is subpar, but his offensive potential makes up for it.

Derek Dietrich

Derek Dietrich has made seven plate appearance this spring and has taken advantage of it. He’s 1-of-5 with a two-run home run, a walk, and an HBP. Similar to Bruce, Dietrich lacks a solid defensive game and isn’t the fastest, but his lefty power could make a serious impact off the bench. To make the roster, Dietrich will have to beat out the defensively orientated Tyler Wade.

Mike Tauchman

Mike Tauchman has gotten off to a decent start this spring. He’s 2-for-10 so far with a home run and a stolen base. Tauchman is a lot more well-rounded than Bruce and Dietrich, but his offense is probably the worse of the three. Being that Tauchman is also a lefty, it could be him against Bruce for the final outfield spot. Regardless, Tauchman’s name is for sure in the mix this season.

New York Yankees: Six non-roster invites who can make an impact in 2021

New York Yankees, Adam Warren

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees announced that they signed 20 players to minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. Six of the 20 have significant MLB experience and could make an impact for the Yankees in 2021.

Kyle Barraclough

Barraclough, a 30-year-old RHP, has the potential to become a middle-reliever with the Yankees. In five MLB seasons, he has an ERA of 3.00 or less in three of them. Over his career, Barraclough has a 3.53 ERA with a 1.359 WHIP in just over 250 innings of action.

Jay Bruce

Bruce, in his prime, was known as one of the most prolific power-hitters in all of baseball. He had his fair share of struggles last season, but at 33-years-old, Bruce could still have a few good years left in the tank. Bruce struggles in the field, but has totaled over 300 home runs in his 13-year career with three all-star nominations.

Jhoulys Chacin

Chacin, 33, has been a starter for seven teams over 13 seasons. He most recently pitched for the Braves in 2020, where he made two appearances. Chacin has a 4.04 ERA in 257 games with a 1.332 WHIP and a 4.22 FIP. In addition to starting, Chacin can be used in long-relief or low-leverage bullpen situations.

Robinson Chirinos

Chirinos could potentially become the Yankees’ back-up catcher if he were to beat out Kyle Higashioka this spring. He has just a .231 career average but is more of a defensive catcher. Chirinos spent the 2019 season in Houston, where he worked well with Gerrit Cole. He’s thrown out 24% of runners attempting to steal over his career and has a 5.8 dWAR.

Derek Dietrich

Dietrich has the potential to become one of the Yankees’ utilitymen in 2021. A left-handed power-bat who can play both infield and outfield, Dietrich has a career .245 average with a 107 OPS+. His OBP has been greater than .325 in each of his last seven seasons and he’s known to frequently get hit by pitches. Dietrich’s only draw-backs are his defensiveive struggles and his lack of speed.

Adam Warren

Warren will be joining the Yankees for the fourth team, re-signing with the team who drafted him. His career ERA sits at 3.53, but has pitched significantly better in New York with a 3.18 ERA in pinstripes. Warren’s career ERA+ sits at 117 with a 1.231 career WHIP in nearly 500 innings. The 33-year-old righty has the potential to find himself in middle-innings once again for the Yankees.

Yankees make multiple signings to add to Spring Training competition

New York Yankees, Derek Dietrich

The New York Yankees are preparing for an important spring training that marks one year after the start of COVID-19. It was only a month from now that operations completely shut down, and the season was postponed to the summer. The hope is that baseball will continue on normally this season, and while there will be complications with positive cases, they now know how to deal with them more efficiently.

The Yankees are bringing a ton of new faces to compete during spring training, and they made two new signings to add to the list. The majority of their non-roster invites are minor-league players and depth pieces, which is understandable. The starting roster is all but secured, the players will find their way into the alternate squad.

The Yankees signed two more players to add to the non-roster invites to Spring Training:

1.) Derek Dietrich

Dietrich is a former second-round pick in the 2010 June amateur draft, and at 31 years old, spent the last eight seasons with the Miami Marlins, Cincinnati Reds, and Texas Rangers. Last season he posted a .197 average with five homers and eight RBIs. He did strike out 28% of the time, a career-high.

Derek is known for his hidden power, with his best season coming in 2016 o when he posted a .279 average. His most HRs came in 2019, which is only two years removed, hitting 19. He is an interesting player that offers power to the lineup and a lefty bat for some diversity. This is actually a solid signing that the Yankees could find value in.

2.) Nick Goody

Nick Goody was a former teammate of Dereks in 2020 but struggled in Texas last season. The relief pitcher gave up 11 runs in 11 innings last year but was strong in 2019 with the Cleveland Indians, posting a 3.54 ERA over 40.2 innings. His best season came in 2017 when he finished with a 2.80 ERA over 54.2 innings. He actually spent two seasons with the Yankees back in 2015 and 2016, so he has familiarity with their system and expectations.

Full non-stoer invite list:

  • RHP Kyle Barraclough
  • OF Michael Beltre
  • C Rob Brantly
  • OF Sócrates Brito
  • OF Jay Bruce
  • RHP Jhoulys Chacín
  • C Robinson Chirinos
  • LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.
  • C Kellin Deglan
  • INF Derek Dietrich
  • RHP Luis García
  • INF Chris Gittens
  • RHP Nick Goody
  • OF Ryan LaMarre
  • LHP Lucas Luetge
  • LHP Tyler Lyons
  • OF Thomas Milone
  • INF Andrew Velazquez
  • RHP Adam Warren
  • RHP Asher Wojciechowski