Yankees: Jabari Blash trade was more than just a salary dump


When the Yankees acquired Jabari Blash from the Padres a month ago, analysts labeled the move a salary dump.

Yes, the trade did save the Yankees money, but I think there’s unreported value to the Jabari Blash acquisition experts are overlooking.

Brian Cashman has rebuilt this championship-caliber Yankees roster by acquiring undervalued ballplayers. The Blash deal could be Ninja Cash’s latest heist.

Blash’s major league career numbers are not the selling point of this trade because they are abysmal, to be frank. Striking out 35.8% of the time in 279 major league career plate appearances is dreadful.

What one must recognize in order to see value in Blash are his 6′ 5″ frame and powerful swing.  In fact, his Isolated Power (ISO) in the minors was higher than Aaron Judge‘s from 2014-2016.

In 1,057 plate appearances, Blash’s ISO was about .271, while in 1,513 plate appearances, Judge’s ISO was about .211.

Also, the 2017 season was the 28-year-old’s most productive season to date in the minor leagues. In 291 plate appearances, his batting average (AVG) was .285, on-base percentage (OBP) was .419 and ISO was .332. Judge’s .284 AVG, .422 OBP and .343 ISO against major league pitching in 2017 are almost identical (understandably, against greater competition).

More from Yankees News


I am by no means implying that Blash’s minor league numbers prove he can produce as well as Judge. What I’m trying to point out is since the Yankees adjusted Judge’s swing last year, why can’t they fix Jabari’s? Yankees’ hitting coach Alan Cockrell was also credited with developing Didi Gregoriusnew powerful stroke, could Jabari be next?

With guidance from Alan Cockrell, the 6′ 7″ Aaron Judge, and the 6′ 6″ Giancarlo Stanton, Blash could blast off. Playing in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium instead of the pitcher-friendly Petco Park could help too.

Chances are, Blash will just be another name on manager Aaron Boone‘s 40-man roster. But it’s also possible he hits a bunch of “#blashoffs” in pinstripes if the Yankees develop his undervalued talent.

The Yanks’ outfield is overcrowded, to say the least, so it will be difficult for Blash to find playing time. What he’ll need to do is prove his presence is too valuable to overlook, like Aaron Hicks did last year. Now, Hicks is expected to be an everyday starter in 2018.

Next: Yanks could take a look at free agent Brandon Phillips

Don’t expect Blash to win a starting job, but don’t be surprised if he performs well as a replacement. Afterall, it would be ridiculously entertaining for the Yanks to have three huge 6′ 5″+ outfielders abusing opposing pitchers every game.