Yankees sign lefty slugger Kole Calhoun in move that feels long overdue

Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Just when it looked like the New York Yankees were going to go on a hot streak, several big injuries threw their lineup out of whack. Losing Josh Donaldson may not have too transformative of an impact, but Giancarlo Stanton missing time is a red-alert situation.

With Stanton on the shelf, the lineup has looked feckless. Once the top three of Anthony Volpe, Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo are set down, the Yankees look like they've never played baseball before. A new name is needed that can give this lineup some extra bite.

Kole Calhoun, in his day, was a quality corner outfielder who could detonate on a baseball that was in the wrong spot of the strike zone. Still, he hasn't gotten work this season due to a very obvious decline in his hitting skills. In need of more experience and pop in the worst way, the Yankees are giving him a whirl.

Calhoun agreed to a minor-league contract with the Yankees. The fact that he and Judge have the same agency is likely too important to avoid looking at. Calhoun will likely get his feet wet at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he tries to give making the major leagues what feels like one last chance.

The Yankees have signed OF Kole Calhoun to a minor-league deal

Calhoun had a quality eight-year stretch with the Los Angeles Angels as the right fielder next to Mike Trout. In that span, Calhoun slugged 140 home runs, topping 17 homers in six consecutive seasons. After a career-best 33 dingers in the juiced ball 2019 season, his career fell off a cliff.

He then signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but face-planted in 2021 after impressing during his COVID-shortened debut season. A .196 average last year with the Texas Rangers likely didn't get too many teams interested in bringing him on board, either.

With Franchy Cordero starting to fizzle out after a hot start, Willie Calhoun as a less-than-inspiring corner outfield option, and Aaron Hicks providing less than nothing with the bat, Calhoun has a legit shot of making it to Yankee Stadium and putting on the pinstripes this season. For all his faults, he can still hit the ball hard.

While some fans might not be too hyped about this move, Matt Carpenter went from a Rangers castoff to a savior that put up preposterous numbers and earned a big deal with San Diego this offseason as a result. Maybe Calhoun could hit that same crescendo with the short right field porch at Yankee Stadium beckoning.