1. Tyler Wade
More than anything else that sunk the 2018-2021 Yankees, “undying loyalty to ancillary pieces” was the biggest culprit. It took DFAing Tyler Wade and living in a post-Wade America for some fans to really understand how devoted they were to a sub-replacement level player, who’s playing the same game in Anaheim now for the cratering Angels.
In 135 at-bats (as of Tuesday, June 21), Wade has subtracted -0.5 WAR from a roster that lost its footing midway through a promising season. He’s barely contributing offensively, posting a 54 OPS+. In limited appearances on base, he’s swiped seven bags … but also leads the league by being caught five times.
There’s very little to like about Wade’s contributions, especially considering the Yankees have a stronger Sept. pinch-running option lurking in the minors in Tim Locastro.
By letting Wade go, the Yankees earned the right to protect a trio of potentially impactful bullpen arms in Marinaccio, Ridings (still hurt), and JP Sears, who will become even more integral down the stretch when the Yankees need to skip Luis Severino/Nestor Cortes for their own protection.
If Wade ends up recruiting Aaron Judge this offseason, we’ll backtrack on this take and beg for his safe return to New York. Until then, it’s safe to chalk this one up as a victory.