2. Tigers Left Field Battle: Akil Baddoo vs. Matt Vierling vs. Kerry Carpenter
This battle is here with plenty of caveats, but could get interesting nonetheless. If Akil Baddoo gets beaten out by Vierling/Carpenter and the Yankees believe in the left-hander's bounce back, they could attempt to step in for a buy low opportunity.
Of course, the main problem here is that if Baddoo loses his job to that uninspiring combo, that means he looked ... really bad all spring. Best of luck to Dillon Lawson in these trying times.
Now 24 years old, Baddoo's rookie and sophomore years were mirror images, with the more impressive one unfortunately in the rearview. He burst onto the scene as a Rule 5 hope, and his star persisted all season long, ending with a 112 OPS+ and 13 bombs in 124 games in Detroit.
Last year, Baddoo plummeted to a 65 OPS+ mark with just two homers in 225 plate appearances. The raw power and speed that electrified the Motown crowd just two years ago is still in there somewhere, though, and with adjusted pickoff rules/the new bases, Baddoo's quickness could instantly become more impactful.
The Yankees would have to have a plan here, but if Baddoo gets nudged out, they might be able to turn Detroit's trash into some semblance of treasure.