Yankees: Tyler Wade and Brett Gardner replacements are waiting in minor leagues


Fans constantly talk about the New York Yankees upgrading via blockbuster trades, but sometimes we all need to step back and see what’s right in front of us.

At this present moment, without Rougned Odor, Tyler Wade is occupying a roster spot, and it’s clear that will need to change at some point.

Additionally, the outfield as a whole is underperforming. Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner have been awful at the plate. Though Aaron Hicks has shown signs of rebounding, he still has a ways to go. Unfortunately, even Aaron Judge is enduring a heinous slump at the moment.

The Yankees likely know they can’t wait around too long for those situations to play themselves out. General manager Brian Cashman likes to talk about being proactive, right?

Then this could be his chance. Right now, in the minor leagues, the Yankees might have two answers for their seemingly never-ending problems.

The first? Slugging outfielder Estevan Florial, who’s a lefty hitter and has been a top prospect in the organization for quite some time, is destroying the ball at Double-A Somerset.

Florial debuted in one game for the team in 2020 after never playing above High-A. Now, through six games with the Patriots, he’s slashing .318/.400/.955 with five runs scored, four home runs and six RBI. On top of that, he can play center field.

The Yankees have been desperate for lefty at-bats, and as time goes on, assuming the combination of Gardner, Hicks, Wade, Odor and Mike Ford continue to (largely) underwhelm, Florial could end up being a no-brainer option if he shoots up to Triple-A and continues this offensive onslaught.

Yankees prospects Trevor Hauver and Estevan Florial have been on fire.

Florial has been on fans’ radars for a while now, though. That’s no surprise.

What is, however, is the emergence of former third-round pick Trevor Hauver, who was taken in the 2020 MLB Draft. He made his professional debut in 2021 with the Tampa Tarpons. The results? Like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Through five games, the lefty slugger (yes, another one!) is slashing .556/.654/1.611 with nine runs scored, six home runs, seven walks and 13 RBI. That’s in 26 plate appearances! He could be the perfect utility replacement for Wade assuming a semblance of this production remains over the coming weeks/months.

Hauver’s value doesn’t stop there, however. He’s a legitimate utility option with experience at second base and the corner outfield spots. As a young player, his defense obviously needs refinement, but if his bat continues to accelerate, the Yankees’ hand might be forced. Wade’s non-existent offensive production has hurt the team for too long. He cannot remain simply because of his ability to play shortstop and second base.

Why should Cashman operate outside his comfort zone ahead of the July 31 deadline? There will hopefully be no need to if Florial and Hauver advance through the farm system with apparent ease. They obviously won’t be making it look this easy as time goes on, but a fraction of this production will likely force the front office’s hand if things don’t improve at the big league level.