Yankees: 1 Royals trade target NYY should watch and 1 they should ignore

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JUNE 19: Michael A. Taylor #2 of the Kansas City Royals makes a diving catch during the 7th inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium on June 19, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Yankees Trade Target to Ignore: Michael A. Taylor

We’re all agreed the Yankees need a Brett Gardner alternative, especially since the veteran outfielder is likely to be ground down in the weeks to come as the overuse piles up. Great.

So…why downgrade at that spot by surrendering assets for Michael A. Taylor?

Sure, there’s a chance Taylor gets red hot, as he did in this season’s first week, and accidentally carries the team for a day or two after experiencing Pinstripe Magic. What’s far more likely, though, is a continued 67 OPS+, far lower than Gardner’s 80 mark along with a .212 average.

Have you ever seen an extended performance worse than Gardner’s first few months from an everyday Yankee? Great. Taylor’s been worse. And he’s a righty! And he’s stolen only four bases this year! Let’s not entertain this.

If right-handedness isn’t an impediment, the Yankees should be all over an actual impact target like Starling Marte rather than a stopgap like Taylor, someone who’s been far worse than their current gap. Again, this is a clear downgrade from someone Yankees Twitter claimed was cooked a month ago.

Taylor’s defense has been special yet again this season, netting him 1.0 WAR while Gardner sits at 0.0. We’re not saying there aren’t any tangible reasons to pencil Taylor into your lineup. We’re just saying that the Yankees can do better than “defensive upgrade, offensive downgrade” if they intend to make meaningful change in center this summer.