Yankees’ official move for Jake Bauers hints at good news for Aaron Judge

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers
New York Yankees v Texas Rangers / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

In a season where not much has gone right on the injury front for the New York Yankees, the last thing they needed was an injury to captain and offensive juggernaut Aaron Judge. After banging up his wrist in a game against the Twins while stealing a base, alarms went off.

Judge tried to play through his ailments, even starting a road game against the Texas Rangers, but he was quickly removed due to what the Yankees deemed a hip problem. Fans were dreading the latest transaction report, as they could see Judge hit the IL for the foreseeable future.

The Yankees did sign outfielder Jake Bauers to a proper MLB deal, but they managed to avoid any Judge or Carlos Rodon bombshells by transferring injured relief pitcher Lou Trivino to the 60-day injured list. For now, Judge remains on the Yankees, with Bauers coming up to replace Franchy Cordero.

Jake Bauers called up, Aaron Judge not on IL for Yankees

Bauers had been tearing it up in Triple-A, hitting .304 with nine home runs down in Scranton. The former Tampa Bay Rays star rookie has always been a high variance player, as his power has been often outweighed by a .213 career batting average between the Rays, then-Cleveland Indians, and Seattle Mariners.

Cordero was tearing the cover off the ball early in the season, but he looked completely lost at the plate. The Bauers move was necessary, as it provided insurance for the banged-up Judge while also giving them a ready-made upgrade over Cordero and his declining performance.

With Willie Calhoun not amassing more than just a handful of less impactful singles and Aaron Hicks playing like an Andy Kaufman character designed specifically to irritate Yankees fans as a joke, a strong stretch out of the gate for Bauers might be enough to keep him on the roster long-term.

The bar for success Bauers has to clear is having an OPS+ that isn't in the negatives like Hicks or getting one or more base hits in a 21 at-bat span, which Cordero was unable to do. That shouldn't be too hard for someone with his power to accomplish.