If the Yankees really believe in their current group as a playoff (nay, a World Series?) contender, then it probably wasn't a good idea to let one of their best hitters against right-handed pitching disappear on Wednesday morning.
Look. Was Willie Calhoun's -0.1 bWAR a major loss? For the 2023 Yankees ... it actually kind of was? Should it have been? No. But this is the society Brian Cashman has baked us all into. Offensive competence is rarer than dinosaur DNA trapped in amber.
And Calhoun was actually competent against right-handed pitching, a puzzle the rest of the Yankees have been unable to solve this entire calendar year.
On Tuesday, there was a brief burst of hope that, post-DFA, Calhoun had cleared waivers and returned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, according to the team's transaction wire. This was ... false, as the team announced Wednesday that he'd elected free agency. Good! Run! Run far away!
Yankees let Willie Calhoun and his .750 OPS vs righties walk
Calhoun's "banging" abilities were roundly criticized when Aaron Boone made him the butt of the joke earlier this season, but in reality, his OPS was dragged down by the only 10 plate appearances he made against left-handed pitching this season. They did not go well; he went 0-for-9 with a walk and five strikeouts.
Against right-handed pitching, though? Calhoun hit .256 with a .756 OPS. He won a game against the Red Sox -- New York's only victory over Boston this year -- with a clutch short-porcher. Against righties as a team this year, the Yankees are OPS'ing .691. .691!
So, on a day where Brian Cashman declared his team to be "in it to win it" as they chase a playoff spot in August and September, and on a day where he added a reliever and no offensive talent in an effort to do so, his team said goodbye to Calhoun, who brought their decrepit offensive marks up significantly during his time in pinstripes.
The Yankees, a nearly-$300 million behemoth, should not be built around Calhoun and other wild cards banging. Somehow, some way, they are, though, and on Wednesday, their league-worst offense got worse with the conclusion of an extremely minor transaction. Go get 'em tomorrow, though, boys. Yes, the exact same boys, no changes.