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Yankees Potential Free Agent Target: Corey Dickerson

While a good player, Dickerson no longer makes sense for the Yankees.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Back on December 12, the Yankees reached an agreement to bring Brett Gardner back on a one-year deal. Gardner re-joins the team for his 13th year in pinstripes, as the Yankees look to win their 28th World Series. The 36-year-old is an aging player who may have the best season of his career in terms of offensive production in 2019. Not only has he gotten a little better over the past few years, but he is a stabilizing force in the clubhouse, a trait that could go a long way in helping the young stars through another season in New York.

Had Gardner not re-signed, Corey Dickerson may have been a good outfielder to target. The 30-year-old Dickerson played for the Pirates and the Phillies last season. Over the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Dickerson made a name for himself when he hit to a 109 wRC+ with 51 homers and 132 RBI. The left-handed bat, like Gardner’s, would have been a great addition to the Yankees lineup that currently lack lefty hitters.

Besides Gardner, Mike Tauchman’s 2019 coming out party makes targeting Dickerson nearly obsolete. If Tauchman wasn’t in the scenario, you could make an argument for bringing Dickerson in on a minor-league deal, but even then he would most likely play off the bench unless injuries gave him an opportunity. Tauchman has less experience than Dickerson, and the Yankees probably don’t know what to expect from him next year. Coming off of such a strong season, though, there is no reason for the Yankees to throw money at another player when Tauchman is on their roster.

A plus to Dickerson besides the addition of a left-handed bat is that he knows the AL East well after playing with Tampa for the past few seasons. I couldn’t imagine him having any trouble coming to play in New York against his former AL East opponents, yet, even that positive is not enough to justify a roster spot.

At this point, I wouldn’t expect the Yankees to target any more outfielders. It is safe to consider them set with Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman and Clint Frazier backing up what would be a completely healthy outfield with Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton.

Outside of the fact that there is no room for him on the Yankee’s roster, Dickerson has struggled defensively throughout his career. Last season was the worst defensively in his seven-year career, with a -4.7 UZR, -6 DRS and a defensive WAR of -7.4. Now for context, if we compare Dickerson’s defensive stats to Giancarlo Stanton’s, his UZR was 3.7 points lower, his DRS is five runs worse, and his defensive WAR is 5.3 points lower. So if Yankee fans thought Stanton was a liability on defense, I would love to see how they’d react to Dickerson manning an outfield spot in the Bronx.

Dickerson is not a bad player, and he can definitely help out a major league team. That team is just not the New York Yankees.