Recently, a report came out that the Rockies discussed a trade with the Marlins involving second baseman Brendan Rodgers. It’s unknown how advanced these talks were, though the recent signing of Jean Segura likely signals the end of Miami’s interest.
Nevertheless, this indicates that Colorado may in fact be open to dealing Rodgers, who is coming off a somewhat down year at the plate, but did win his first gold glove at second base. He wouldn’t be the biggest-name acquisition, but would still be a solid addition to the club’s infield depth chart.
Rodgers was selected third overall in the 2015 Draft by Colorado, and coming straight out of high school, he had a long journey coming up to the big leagues. He received the call-up in 2019, at 22 years of age, cementing himself full-time in the majors over the last couple of seasons.
The winner of the NL Gold Glove at 2B for 2022 has three years of control before reaching free agency and thus would come at a significant cost. In the aforementioned trade talks between Miami and Colorado, the Rockies were reportedly after young arm Edward Cabrera, one of the more exciting arms on a Marlins roster stocked with them. The Yankees would have to give up a legitimate prospect to secure Rodgers. However, for a team that has indicated nothing other than indifference towards the shortstop free agent market, loaded with star names in these last two years, Rodgers may be the best solution to add a little bit of depth to this middle-infield, while Anthony Volpe matures in the minors.
Rodgers took a small step back on the hitting front from 2021 to 2022, with a .284/.328/.470 line falling to .266/.325/.408. While that latter line might not look so bad by today’s low-offense standards, Rodgers has the benefit of calling Coors Field home, meaning his 96 OPS+ was below average. He more than made up for that, though, by significantly elevating his defensive work. The Rockies’ second baseman went from -5 DRS to 22 this past season, a staggering jump that earned him his award recognition. Baseball Savant’s Outs Above Average also loved his defensive work last year, as he ranked in the 82nd percentile, up from the 20th in 2021.
Both Gleyber Torres and Rodgers came up as shortstops and transitioned into a second-base role, and with Rodgers’ acquisition, the Yankees would gain some flexibility. Though they showed lots of reticence to play Torres at short in 2022, Rodgers could certainly handle the position in a pinch, giving the team an offensive boost at short on such occasions.
Rodgers hasn’t been mashing in the big leagues, with a .768 OPS over the last two seasons, but the potential is there for a player that came up as one of the top prospects in the Rockies’ system. The Yankees have had success before when bringing in former Colorado infielders with underwhelming offensive profiles, as they’ve seen DJ LeMahieu blossom with the stick since coming to the Bronx. Rodgers has an awful .239/.287/.388 career line on the road, which could very plausibly improve if he didn’t have to shift from playing at altitude half the time and near sea level the other half.
It would require prospect capital, but the Yankees still have enough depth on their farm to make an impact move happen. Rodgers may not seem like a splash, but he could help solidify the infield and bring some versatility.