Cold take us again! We were wrong. However, it wasn’t out of the question to at least be skeptical back in April when the New York Yankees traded outfielder Mike Tauchman to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta.
At the time, Tauchman was a valuable bench piece. He was a versatile and plus defender in addition to a threat on the base paths, especially as a pinch runner. The Yankees lacked reliable defense and speed, so they were subtracting a much-needed element from the roster.
But outside of a couple highlight-reel moments for Tauchman in San Francisco, he was designated for assignment at the end of July. As for Peralta, he became a key cog in the Yankees’ bullpen and played an important role in getting the Bombers to the playoffs (even though the season ended in massive disappointment).
Though general manager Brian Cashman is constantly in the crosshairs of fans’ criticism, the man deserves credit for this one, especially in wake of the latest news.
Tauchman has fled to South Korea, signing a deal with the Hanwa Eagles for just $1 million. After being DFA’ed by the Giants, the veteran was unable to find work on an MLB roster.
In 64 games with San Fran, he hit .178 with a .569 OPS and stole just one base. The Yankees somehow turned that into a much more useful asset.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman deserves credit for the Wandy Peralta trade.
Peralta, who was largely bad before arriving in New York, finished out the 2021 season with the Bombers and logged a 2.95 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with 35 strikeouts in 46 games (42.2 innings), serving as a weapon manager Aaron Boone could deploy against left-handed hitters.
That’s not to say there wasn’t concern upon his acquisition. Peralta, 30, had a 4.72 ERA as a reliever since debuting in 2016 at the time of the trade. Fans had every right to be angry since the Yankees could’ve made smarter offseason moves than signing Justin Wilson and the 38-year-old Darren O’Day to fortify the bullpen.
But hey, it worked out, and Peralta is here through the 2023 season. He’s slated to earn $1.7 million in arbitration for 2022, which is a bargain price for a lefty reliever who can handle high-leverage situations.
Some might argue the Yankees could’ve further maximized Tauchman’s value after the 2019 season, when he burst onto the scene and produced a 3.9 bWAR in 87 games, bringing significant positive production on both sides of the ball.
That take wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s hard to be upset with Peralta now a member of a bullpen in need of stability. The left-hander’s been able to embrace the pressure and has actually become a fan favorite.