New York Yankees Fan Disease of linking every potential trade candidate to their favorite team is in full force this offseason due to the limited options available. We’re sure you’ve heard plenty about Bryan Reynolds and other imperfect fits being mentioned as the Yankees look to fill their left field vacancy.
The latest is now San Diego Padres center fielder Trent Grisham, who, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, is believed to be available via trade not too long after general manager AJ Preller said that wouldn’t be the case.
Even if that’s changed and Grisham is being discussed in deals, there’s no sense for the Yankees to be involved. Again, just because someone might be available doesn’t make them a de facto Yankee. Stop doing this.
Grisham is a center fielder by trade. He’s won two Gold Gloves at the position over the last three seasons. Pretty good! Some other positives? He’s entering his age-26 season. He’s under club control through the 2025 season. He’s got some pop in his bat.
The negatives? Putting a Gold Glove center fielder in left field is not a solution (he’s played just 33 of his 376 career games away from CF). Grisham’s value on the trade market will be elevated because he’s arbitration eligible for the next three years. And lastly, his bat will frustrate New York fans to no end.
No, Trent Grisham shouldn’t be a New York Yankees trade target
We can point to some promising advanced metrics, like his walk rate being in the 83rd percentile, his chase rate being in the 93rd percentile, and his OOA/Outfielder Jump ranks being impressive. But there’s far more blue than red on his Baseball Savant page over the last two full seasons.
He batted .184 in 2022. He’s slashing just .222/.316/.395 with a 99 OPS+ since debuting in 2019. He strikes out 25.6% of the time. Nothing about his offensive profile is “waiting to be unlocked,” which is a famous thing Yankees Twitter loves to discuss. “How can the Yankees unlock X player, even though they haven’t really unlocked any players offensively in years?!”
When you realize the Brewers dumped Grisham after the 2019 season because of his ghastly error in the NL Wild Card Game that propelled the eventual World Series champion Washington Nationals, it’ll become more evident why this isn’t a fit. He’s even made some head-scratching gaffes in center field, which would draw the ire of Yankees fans without hesitation. Put him out of position and such errors/misplays will be further magnified. Put a toastier spotlight on him, and you probably don’t get the results you’re expecting. If Milwaukee traded him because of a damaged reputation, how could New York possibly be good for his development?
Grisham quickly became the Flavor of the Week in the postseason, when his bat caught fire against the Mets and Dodgers, which helped the Padres reach the NLCS. But against the Phillies, the Regular Grisham came to play, going 0-for-19 with nine strikeouts in five games.
The 26-year-old is already surrounded by a talented group of hitters. It’s not like the Yankees would be rescuing him from a wasteland and immediately protecting him in an otherwise stacked lineup — despite a down year from the Padres offensively, their collection of position players isn’t too far off from the talent level New York boasts.
If Grisham was a free agent? Sure. Might be worth exploring. But since he’s a trade candidate who will carry a price that isn’t worth a 99 OPS+ batter in addition to the fact his defensive value would diminish if he’s utilized out of position, the Yankees need to stay far away and sign a cheap free agent or move forward with an in-house option before they can begin brainstorming other options at the 2023 trade deadline.