Revisiting the Yankees-Rockies Trade for Mike Tauchman
Yankees fans had no idea Mike Tauchman would be an impact player.
Last March, general manager Brian Cashman once again worked his magic on the trade market and acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies. At the time, Yankees fans didn’t think much of it, considering he had only batted .153 in 52 career games.
But the “Sock Man” — as a lot of diehard Bomber fans love to call him — became an admirable fill-in when New York’s outfield was decimated with injuries after Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks all went down. Tauchman burst onto the scene and slashed .277/.361/.504 with 46 runs scored, 13 home runs and 47 RBI in 87 games. We also can’t overlook the fact he registered a 1.6 dWAR (and had an overall 3.8 WAR in 2019).
As a lefty, he sure did love the Short Porch in right field.
It’s safe to say the Yankees won this deal with the Rockies in a landslide, but let’s look back and see what it took to acquire Tauchman a little over a year ago.
All it took was for Cashman to give up pitcher Phillip Diehl in the trade, which was hardly a loss considering the organization’s impressive pitching depth in the minor leagues. Diehl made his MLB debut with the Rockies in 2019 but got shelled in 10 appearances, surrendering six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in just 7.1 innings of work. However, he started off spring training on a good note before MLB was forced to put play on hold. He allowed two runs on just four hits and struck out 10 across five innings. At the time of the trade, Diehl was still believed to be far away from the majors considering he had only reached Double-A, but the Rockies fast-tracked him despite a 6.75 ERA in 39 Triple-A appearances.
All in all, the Yankees traded from a position of strength and surplus for a guy Cashman saw potential in. The move paid off in a colossal way and there’s no doubt Tauchman will continue to contribute considerably for New York, especially if the outfield remains hobbled. At the very least, he’ll be a tremendous fourth outfielder (assuming we’re looking at Judge, Gardner and Hicks as the starters with Stanton at DH) and provide insurance at DH in case Aaron Boone wants to give guys like Stanton or Miguel Andujar a day off.