In any other season, with a boffo roster in need of only slight reinforcements, the Yankees adding Yankee Killer Randal Grichuk at the trade deadline (among other moves) might be seen as a sneaky capper to a second-half reload.
In 2023, with so many holes and so little time (or motivation) to fill them, adding Grichuk from the Rockies would just feel sad. Unless ... the Yankees actually have a master plan in place behind the maneuver?
An extremely bored fan can dream, and Eno Sarris of The Athletic underscored the best possible outcome of a Grichuk move on Wednesday morning.
While bringing in a career "meh" righty bat doesn't impress at first blush -- and how much worse will he be when he can't face the Yankees?! -- Grichuk remains a lefty masher. That's a skill that the surprisingly effective Jake Bauers can't provide, even as his barrel rate climbs and he proves to be one of the Yankees' best hitters.
Adding Grichuk as a cheap flyer at the end of his five-year contract might turn out to be appealing, as long as the Yankees use him correctly.
MLB Trade Rumors: Randal Grichuk to Yankees makes sense?
Grichuk's luxury tax salary in 2023 is somehow only $6 million, so when you prorate it, the Yankees would have to clear precious little cash to get under the looming top number.
Then again ... why are we even mentally maneuvering to make this fit? Are the 2023 Yankees really a Grichuk away from contention? Is finding a platoon partner for Bauers really atop their list of needs?
Somebody might add Grichuk and be very happy this fall in a Steve Pearce-y kind of way. It would be fantastic if that type of devilish, below-the-radar move worked for the Yankees and not against them for the first time since 2009. It's just difficult to envision, especially since Grichuk would likely be the biggest splash rather than the buried one.
All of that said ... having a legitimate big-league left fielder is better than not having a legitimate big-league left fielder. That deficiency reared its ugly head yet again on Tuesday, when two remarkably low xBA base hits dunked in and led directly to four Mets runs. The platoon sounds great on the surface, but if Bauers can't play the outfield (he can't), Grichuk might end up stealing all of his playing time anyway and being a lesser weapon than he should be. It's an improvement! But if the Yankees can't play their cards intelligently here, why play them at all?