Yankees Hindsight on Rob Refsnyder Really Is 20/20
George A. King III reports that the Yankees are gauging trade interest on utility player Rob Refsnyder. But will there be any interest?
Back in 2015, the Yankees refused to send Adam Warren and Rob Refsnyder to the Oakland A’s in exchange for Ben Zobrist. Instead, Zobrist ended up in Kansas City and helped the Royals win a World Series title.
That same winter, the Yanks dealt Warren to the Chicago Cubs for Starlin Castro, who just so happened to block Refsnyder’s best chance of becoming an everyday player at second base.
So let me get this straight — the Yankees wouldn’t trade Refsnyder for a super-utility player that probably would have helped them advance further than the Wild Card play-in game in 2015 because Refsnyder held immense potential, only to reverse course mere months later?
Either the scouting department did a bad job of evaluating Refnsyder out of the University of Arizona when the team selected him in the fifth round of the 2012 draft or the higher-ups held him in much too high esteem. Clearly, someone dropped the ball.
With one minor league option remaining, the Yankees could always send Refsnyder down to Triple-A Scranton, to further work on his power, and hopefully, find the one position that he is slightly better than average at. But doing so at this stage in his career seems counterproductive.
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Being that he’ll turn 26 this month, Refsnyder is no longer considered a prospect. With no real power to speak of, and a stagnate defensive game, I don’t know what the Yankees expect to receive back in a trade.
The fact that Refsnyder has a club controllable contract through 2022 and seems determined to refine his swing year after year (results pending) is admirable, but any promise for him to produce in New York has gone out the window.
Baseball is full of late bloomers, but if Refsnyder is to become one of those, he’ll have to do it in a different uniform. For the fans that claim he was never given his fair share of at-bats, well, maybe not — but the plate appearances he did get haven’t resulted in deserving more chances. A .262 batting average with two home runs and 17 RBI over the past two seasons doesn’t scream ‘look at me!’
Should the Yankees have traded Refsynder when his stock would have garnered them a swap of other “prospects,” or a valuable veteran utility player? For sure. Will they be stuck settling for a Rookie-level minor leaguer or the infamous Player to be Named Later? More than likely.
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Whatever the final decision is that the Yankees make on Refsnyder, the outcome is inevitable — it’s time for him and the organization to move on.