The New York Yankees might not be making any big splash moves, but you never know when general manager Brian Cashman is going to land another secret gem that over performs in pinstripes. If you recall, both Luke Voit and Gio Urshela were Cashman finds that ended up being significant pieces to the puzzle.
Since Voit was acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals, he has cemented the first base position and was one of the more consistent factors in 2020. Over 56 games, he launched 22 homers (league-high) and 52 RBIs, earning a career-low 23.1% strikeout rate and a fantastic .277 average. He is one of Cashman’s golden eggs, and without him, the Yankees would have a significant problem at first base after the Greg Bird debacle.
Then you look over to Urshela, who replaced Miguel Andujar on the hot corner after he tore his labrum in 2019. Ever since the former Toronto Blue Jay took over at third base, he hasn’t let go.
This past season, he played in 43 of 60 games, logging a .298 average with six homers and 30 RBIs. While his slugging ability took a bit of a dip compared to his 2019 statistics where he hit 21 homers, he was still very productive at the plate. His 10.3% walk rate was the highest of his career by nearly double, and he had a career-high of .368 in on-base percentage.
As you can see, Cashman has the talent and ability to find hidden production and players that have underwhelmed earlier on in their career.
Did the New York Yankees and Cashman find another gem in Greg Allen?
On Wednesday, the Yankees acquired outfielder Greg Allen from the San Diego Padres. He was previously designated for assignment by San Diego and will receive left-handed reliever James Reeves in return, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Allen, who was raised in San Diego, is a speedy outfielder who made just one appearance this past season with the Padres. Over his career, Allen slashes .239/.298/.343 over 618 plate appearances. He has spent time with both the Cleveland Indians and Padres.
While Allen isn’t exactly an extraordinarily productive player, he seems to be eerily similar to Brett Gardner. A speedster with solid defensive abilities at 27 years old can only be beneficial for the Yankees, who could look to develop him and increase his contact ability, if possible.
Over four seasons, Allen has only been hit with three errors, indicating a strong presence in the outfield. While he’s not as offensively proficient as Gardner, the Yankees don’t want to pay him a significant amount of money at his age. Allen could likely supplement his loss defensively and, with a little hitting work, could improve and offer something at the plate in case the Yankees need to dip into their depth.