The Yankees acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies on Saturday in exchange for LHP Phillip Diehl. To open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Tauchman, LHP Jordan Montgomery was moved to the 60-day injured list.
Tauchman is a 28-year-old outfielder and a left-handed hitter. He is capable of playing center field, and Aaron Boone has said he very well could break camp with the Yanks. Those are two needs that the Yankees have needed to fill with Aaron Hicks out for at least the first week or so and the only other legitimate center field options being Brett Gardner and Tyler Wade.
The Yankees, by all indications, liked Diehl quite a bit, so I’m curious to find out is Tauchman is like Luke Voit: an analytics darling who was blocked behind a few guys with his old club.
His Baseball Reference page is a bit jarring. His primary position is listed as pinch hitter and he has a career .468 OPS in 69 total MLB plate appearances. That’s not particularly nice at all.
His minor league numbers are very good. He slashed .323/.408/.571 (153 wRC+) in 112 games at AAA in 2018. Perhaps with regular opportunities he can do it in the big leagues. I don’t really see how he gets regular opportunities with the Yankees once Hicks returns, but maybe he can force the issue.
I’m not sure what this means for guys like Tyler Wade and Greg Bird, who looked like they were certain to break camp with the team out of camp. If the Yanks decide to take Tauchman, do one of them lose their spot? I would guess so.
This also could be bad news for Clint Frazier, who would have likely been the next guy up if another position player went down with injury. Now he’s destined for a full two month(ish) stint in the minors to get used to regular action once again after so much missed time a year ago, and I’m sure it’ll conveniently line up with whatever the exact date is to get an extra year of service time out of him. Just a hunch.