When the New York Yankees signed Jay Bruce to a minor-league contract, we thought it might signal the end of Brett Gardner’s tenure in pinstripes.
Right idea, wrong outfielder.
Mike Tauchman, coming off a powerless 2020 and out of minor-league options, is beloved by fans and in the clubhouse, and can be a 4-WAR player (seriously) when fully healthy and peaking. But can he back up first base? He claims he can, but do his claims breed confidence?
Can he play all around the infield and outfield like Derek Dietrich?
There are two certified, all-caps MAJOR LEAGUERS coming after Tauchman’s roster spot this spring, and while there’s no way the Yankees will stomach losing the lefty for nothing, they might be waiting until the very last moment to pull the trigger on a trade, mirroring the way he arrived two winters ago.
If Bruce and Dietrich show up for game action and look washed? Great. No harm, no foul, the team will happily keep Tauching that Tauch.
But Ken Rosenthal’s column Saturday morning became the loudest example yet of an MLB insider idly speculating about Tauchman’s status, and Brian Cashman himself tried to stir up the trade market earlier this offseason when he bragged about the offers he’d recently received.
There isn’t smoke quite yet, but there’s kindling. So what could the Yankees obtain in exchange for Tauchman? Spoiler alert: every single trade involves New York receiving a comp pick at the end of a loaded first round. Beyond that, let’s add one prospect from each of the following teams.
These three Yankees trades could send Mike Tauchman out of town.
3. Yankees and Marlins Trade for Mike Tauchman
First off, gimme that sweet, sweet comp pick! The Marlins were a playoff team in 2020 and are clearly headed in the right direction under Derek Jeter’s stewardship, but the NL East is absurdly loaded, featuring three clear potential division champs and a strong Phillies team. We’d bet against the Marlins, but we’ve been wrong before about this team.
Miami prizes versatile outfielders under Jeter, and adding Tauchman as their fourth outfielder would make all the sense in the world with the way their team is currently constructed.
Perhaps the Yankees target No. 12 prospect Dax Fulton to round out the package? Most 2020 MLB Draft picks have been treated like commodities before their careers have even begun with their current organizations, and the lefty, who went in the second round last year out of high school, will probably be no different.
Coming off an elbow injury suffered at the Team USA 18-and-under trials in summer 2019, Fulton didn’t pitch his senior year and slipped to the second despite ranking as possibly the top prep lefty in the country for a spell. New York needs as much high-upside and controllable pitching as they can get; maybe Jeets can hook it up from his pitching-rich organization?