Yankees’ reported price in Mike Tauchman trade talks revealed


Thursday is the day when Yankees outfielder Jay Bruce can set some serious roster chaos in motion — though we might not hear about it until Saturday.

March 25 is Bruce’s opt-out date, but the inflection point for action is strangely March 27, as the Yankees are given a two-day window to address the lefty’s demands.

If Bruce opts in? The football gets kicked down the road a bit. But if he opts out? New York has to scramble to clear roster space if they intend to keep bring him north for Opening Day.

Of course, they could also just send him on his merry way and keep their in-house options. And that’s where we get to Mike Tauchman, who’s had a bit of a resurgent spring and believes he’ll return to his 2019 level.

Tauchman is by far the most likely candidate to be jettisoned from the roster if the Yankees feel the need to keep Bruce, but just because he’s on the outs doesn’t mean he’s priced to move.

New York still values him highly, and will be demanding controllable pieces in return who can approximate his 2019 value and not his regressive 2020 status.

Will the Yankees trade Mike Tauchman before 2021 MLB Opening Day?

According to SNY’s Andy Martino:

"The Yankees have been receiving trade interest in outfielder Mike Tauchman, and are valuing him at his 2019 levels of production, according to league sources.The team sees Tauchman as healthy after dealing with a shoulder issue last year and seeing a sharp downturn in his production. The Yanks believe that his breakout 2019 was representative of his ability, and are valuing him accordingly. It would take a controllable reliever or another piece of real value to pry him away from New York."

Even in a down season in 2020, Tauchman still got on base, OBP’ing .342 on top of just a .242 average. Unfortunately, he hit for absolutely no power (zero homers and only six doubles), and his value thusly plummeted.

Earlier in the spring, he blamed a shoulder injury in part for his lack of production, and while spring training results have to be taken with not just a grain of salt but an entire pile of saline, his team-leading three homers must be noted.

Of course, not even Tauchman himself is a believer in spring statistics.

Will Tauchman be dealt at the end of this process? It seems less likely than a few weeks ago, not only because the Yankees’ evaluation makes it appear they’d rather keep him, but because Bruce’s regression has hit hard. The veteran has just six hits in 31 spring at-bats, most of which came in the very early going. The latest rumors as of Thursday morning indicate that Bruce could be on his way out shortly.

Based on the way the Yankees are approaching these Tauchman talks, opposing teams aren’t talking the right talk quite yet. With every day that passes and every Bruce whiff that occurs, the Yanks become less and less likely to sacrifice a controllable outfielder for a slightly older option.