The Yankees struck a trade on Saturday night, but it wasn’t for the pitcher you expected. Instead, the Bombers reportedly landed first baseman and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. Jeff Passan had the news first, while Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are sending right-hander Juan Then to the Mariners.
Encarnacion, 36, is hitting .241/.356/.531 with 21 home runs on the season. His 139 wRC+ is a touch short of his peak with the Blue Jays, but he still makes for a fearsome bat. In fact, he still tears the cover off the ball.
In terms of defense, Encarnacion has logged 384.1 innings at first base this season, and he’s done an okay job there. One would expect him to take over at the DH spot though, as Luke Voit is locked in at first base. Encarnacion could also remain under contract through the 2020 season should the Yankees exercise a team option; this isn’t necessarily a rental.
Then, 19, was originally a member of the Mariners’ organization. He joined the Yankees in late 2017 as part of the Nick Rumbelow trade. The right-hander pitched to a 2.70 ERA (3.22 FIP) over 11 starts in Rookie Ball last year.
This move is a bit of a head scratcher given that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are both out on rehab assignments and should return in the next week or so. It also leaves one to wonder about Clint Frazier’s role with the team moving forward. Here’s hoping that Brian Cashman can shake free a pitcher (or two) in the coming weeks.
We’ll have more information as it becomes available. Stay tuned to Pinstripe Alley for more details.
Update (June 16): It’s official. Jake Barrett heads to the 60-day IL to make room for Encarnacion. He will join the team in New York on Tuesday.
The New York Yankees have announced that they have acquired 1B/DH Edwin Encarnación from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Juan Then and cash considerations.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 16, 2019