We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve ragged on Tyler Wade for his many gaffes as a member of the New York Yankees. While getting rid of him isn’t exactly the most egregious move ever, we have to say the manner in which the team did kind of is.
On Friday, Wade was designated for assignment as part of the 40-man roster crunch so the team could protect a number of prospects from the Rule 5 Draft. On Monday, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for likely … nothing.
Our “beef” with getting rid of Wade stems from the fact the Yankees spent years hanging onto him as he failed to produce time and time again … only to get rid of him when he finally started to turn a corner both with his glove and bat.
Wade provided tremendous defensive versatility (no, it wasn’t Gold Glove caliber, but it greatly helped), speed on the base paths, and a lefty bat that was beginning to make heavier contact as the 2021 season progressed.
If the Yankees were mentioned in high-profile rumors or had even made a semblance of an impactful move yet, this probably wouldn’t be as big of a head-scratcher. But Wade carving out a role for himself after four underwhelming seasons and then being kicked to the curb?
Make it make sense, that’s all we ask! This team desperately needed speed and Wade was under team control for pennies.
The Yankees have traded Tyler Wade to the Angels. It doesn’t really make sense.
Wade found his bearings as a utility player, pinch runner and late-game defensive substitution. That’s a valuable role on any MLB team. And he showed his greatest promise with consistent contributions across 103 games this past season.
Unless the Yankees have grand plans that are being kept secret, then we’re not sure how subtracting Wade and trading him for an unknown commodity helps make this roster better. Did he move the needle in an eyebrow-raising manner? Not exactly. But he brought skills to the table that this team severely lacked.
So many other guys could’ve been designate for assignment or traded to keep a roster spot for Wade. Miguel Andújar, Luke Voit and Domingo Germán are three players that come to mind who likely won’t have a role with this team in 2022. It’s understandable that the Yankees didn’t want to cut bait for a fraction of their value, but it’s hard to believe something else couldn’t have been worked out here.
Also, Andrew Velazquez and Wade — aka the only semblance of speed on the 2021 Yankees — are now both in Anaheim. Is that good?
The “good news” here? Wade is from California, so he’ll be returning home … to play with the two best names in the sport. Not bad for him. LA just needs some pitching … but he knows all about that having been in New York since 2017.