After all the spring training hubbub over Jay Bruce and Mike Tauchman, both players ended up making the Opening Day roster. Now, both players are gone from the team before April is even over. Bruce retired from baseball on April 16th, and Tauchman is on his way out of town, too.
In a bit of a surprising move announced half an hour before the first pitch of Tuesday night’s game against the Orioles, the Yankees traded Tauchman to the San Francisco Giants. In return, they acquired lefty reliever Wandy Peralta and a player to be named later. They also brought utilityman Tyler Wade back to join the team in Baltimore and replace Tauchman’s roster spot.
It’s a little sad to say farewell to Tauchman, who was such a terrific unlikely contributor on the 103-win AL East champions in 2019. They got him from the Rockies in a minor deal at the end of camp in exchange for forgotten reliever Phillip Diehl, and when given an opportunity due to the rash of injuries, he thrived with a .277/.361/.504 triple slash and 13 homers in 87 games, notching 3.9 rWAR and a 127 OPS+.
The magic did not return in 2020, as Tauchman stumbled to an 84 OPS+ and needed a good camp in 2021 to even make the team. Due to the Yankees’ crowded outfield though, he only made it into 11 games, registering just one hit. Mike Yastrzemski recently hit the injured list with an oblique injury, so Tauchman should get more of a shot in San Francisco.
We’ll have more on the pitcher who the Yankees acquired, Wandy Peralta, tomorrow, but the SparkNotes version is that he’s a 29-year-old lefty reliever who could turn out to be a contributor, particularly since he has an option remaining. Peralta had a 3.29 ERA (130 ERA+) and 1.207 WHIP in 27.1 innings of work last season, and while the hard numbers weren’t kind to him early on in 2021, there’s certainly reason to believe that there’s something there:
After a down year last year, Tauchman hasn't seen much action this year (16 PA/11G) and hasn't done much with the chances he's gotten. He became expendable. #Giants— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) April 27, 2021
As for Peralta, easy to see why #Yankees would want a lefty RP with an option, especially when you look at this: pic.twitter.com/up5FxTPIFV
A scout on Peralta #Yankees new LHP— Kristie Ackert (@ByKristieAckert) April 27, 2021
"Secondary stuff plays better than his FB. He’s got velocity so that helps, command of it just fair though. Little bit of a rubber arm."
As always, have left arm, will travel.
Meanwhile, Wade will hold down Tauchman’s roster spot. It’s obviously not a super interesting move, but given the outfielder’s extremely sparse playing time, the team could use a backup infielder who can also cover the outfield in an emergency more than Tauchman. Having only Gio Urshela as a backup shortstop to Gleyber Torres wasn’t really the answer. So it goes.
Best of luck to Tauchman in San Francisco.