What's the longest possible MLB rehab assignment (asking for Yankees' Harrison Bader)?

New York Yankees Spring Training
New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages

The New York Yankees need Harrison Bader.

Well, more specifically, the New York Yankees need an awful lot to fix their decrepit offense, but Bader's center field defense and probably-more-potent-than-Oswaldo-Cabrera bat could help.

When will we see him? Despite the fact that he began a rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset last Friday, it seems likely he'll be down on the farm longer than a typical rehabber.

But what's the longest rehab assignment possible? Glad you asked.

Hopefully, the New York Rangers run lasts long enough to be a nice distraction for Bader, because Aaron Boone wants him in Double-A for quite a while to build up the strength to withstand nine inning back-to-backs.

Yankees' Harrison Bader rehab assignment should last 10-14 days, but could legally be longer...

Per MiLB.com, Bader's rehab assignment could last up to 20 days, as a non-pitcher.

Clearly, he's itching to get back; he was in the Yankees dugout on Saturday, thanks to a Somerset off day (on Saturday?), and was at Madison Square Garden by nighttime, flanked by Aaron Judge and Anthony Volpe. He even wore a Yankees hat to the Rangers' playoff game to make absolutely sure he was recognized. No shying away from the spotlight for this guy.

That said, the Yankees have proven all spring long they intend to be cautious with their returnees, from Carlos Rodón to Luis Severino to Bader, especially after Josh Donaldson's rehab stint lasted a single game before his hamstrings broke down further. If Aaron Boone says Bader will be down a minimum of 10 days to build himself up (and to keep Oswald Peraza on the MLB roster), then we should believe him.

According to Bryan Hoch on Monday, the current target date for Bader's return is May 5 in Tampa, when the Yankees will visit the Rays for the first time in 2023. Ideally, they will no longer have only three losses on their ledger when that time comes.