Before today’s 6 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Yankees dealt Harrison Bader, a centre fielder. He is now injured and will wear a walking boot to St. Louis for at least another week in exchange for Jordan Montgomery. I suppose I view the situation from the Cardinals’ perspective since they have an abundance of Gold Glove-winning fielders and needed pitchers. I’m a little perplexed by the Yankee side.
Let’s start with the positive: Harrison Bader is one of the top outfielders in defence. He was the Gold Glove winner the previous year, has spent all but one of his career seasons in the 95th percentile for Above Average Outs, is incredibly quick, and doesn’t strike out frequently.
After that end of July, He was admitted to the IL for a foot injury and a walking boot. The fact that he doesn’t hit all that well is an awful thing. He hit for power and didn’t care about strikeouts during the abbreviated 2020 season, which led to a 114 wRC+. He wouldn’t be quite as helpful as Aaron Judge, but he would be a centre fielder who could win five games if he repeated that performance throughout a season of 150 games.
However, outside of 2020, Bader has had trouble being a reliable offensive threat and has just 93 wRC+ this year, with a lot of blue on his Statcast page during the previous two years:
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who I already detest, is in many ways a little more offensively skilled version of Bader. IKF did, however, fill a shortstop slot that was open before the season. Aaron Judge, Andrew Benintendi, Aaron Hicks, Matt Carpenter, and Giancarlo Stanton, who is presently on the injured list, are all excellent outfielders, so the Yankees don’t need another one. If the goal is to deploy Bader in the late innings as a defensive replacement for Judge or Carpenter, he is hurt despite Carpenter having a suspect gauntlet in the outfield.
The deadline for sending trade requests to the league offices is 6 p.m., so perhaps there’s still a second deal to be made where the Yankees sign a starter to replace Monty (To update: Nope!). If not … Without considering the offseason and any future Hicks considerations, I’m sure there is a plan for this trade, but I’m not sure what it is.
The Yankees might have a lot of faith in Clarke Schmidt, who will be overworked in Triple-A and may end up being traded for the underwhelming Domingo Germán. Even though Luis Severino won’t be available until mid-September, perhaps they have tremendous confidence in his health. Watching Bader run the ball down Yankee Stadium, regardless of the rotation plans, will be entertaining as he returns from the foot injury. I must admit that other than that one possible scenario, I don’t know much about this arrangement.
Bats: Right • Throws: Right
6-0, 210lb (183cm, 95kg)
Harrison Giuseppe Bader, better known by his baseball player monicker “Tots,” was born on June 3, 1994, and currently plays centre field for the Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees (MLB). Previously, he had been a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Bader was born in the Eastchester neighbourhood of the New York City village of Bronxville.
Bader played college baseball for the Florida Gators at the University of Florida. In the 2015 MLB Draft’s third-round features, the Cardinals made him their selection. 2017 saw the MLB debut of Bader. He played centre field and received a Gold Glove Award the following year. In 2022, the Cardinals dealt Bader to the Yankees.