Signing Harrison Bader long-term: an idea for the Yankees to consider

At the latest trade deadline, the Yankees surprised just about everyone by sending Jordan Montgomery, a strong starting pitcher, to the Cardinals. In return, they acquired Harrison Bader, an outfielder then wearing a walking boot.

For a guy who excels with his speed and defense in center field, the foot injury was a risk, let’s say.

That said, when he returned to the game, Bader quickly showed what he can bring to a team. Along with his contagious energy, his excellent defensive play and running skills quickly won the hearts of the Bronx.

And his brief transformation into Barry Bonds during the playoffs didn’t hurt either.

In 2023, on the other hand, Bader will be in his last year of contract, and he will become a free agent for the first time in his career at the end of the campaign.

And while the trauma of Aaron Hicks’ long-term contract is still in town, I believe the Yankees have no choice but to consider signing Bader for a few years.

Let me explain.

Without necessarily signing Bader for six or seven years, keeping him in town for a few years is far from a bad idea. After all, the team has to try to keep Aaron Judge in the right rather than in center field, and a guy like Bader takes that pressure off him.

Currently, only Kevin Kiermaier is in Bader’s league when it comes to center field defense, and Bader seems to be a tad better than the Jays’ new outfielder.

Bader turns 29 next June, so there’s reason to believe that his speed and athleticism won’t leave him any time soon. Kiermaier is still very solid and he will soon be 33 years old, for example.

With the situation a bit precarious in left field, securing the services of such a solid center fielder defensively would not be a luxury. Bader covers so much ground that he can cover any largesse from the player to his right.

Admittedly, Bader isn’t a great hitter (his numbers suggest he’s a bit below an average hitter), but maybe his good streaks are a sign the Yankees have found a way to help him. to unlock offensively.

And Bader is currently working on his batting eye to try to improve.

It’s a safe bet that Bader will never be a hitter in the heart of the lineup, but if he is only able to become a regular average hitter in addition to maintaining his excellent defense and speed, he could be a important element for the Yankees in the years to come.

At least until Jasson Dominguez is ready, should he ever reach his full potential.

Add to all that Bader injects a huge dose of energy into his teammates when he plays and being a Bronx native, and it all makes him seem like exactly the kind of guy the Yankees need to try. to keep for the long term.

I don’t know what that would look like financially, but it seems like a three- or four-year deal would be ideal for a guy that I really see settling in the Bronx for the long haul.

In short, I really believe that the Yankees should start considering the idea of ​​signing Bader in the longer term to give themselves a nice insurance policy in center field. Without being an MVP in the making, Bader is a guy who can help the team in more ways than one for a few more years.

And I doubt the Bronx native wouldn’t fancy staying close to home longer term…

round 10
  • What’s going on in Baltimore?
  • The Red Sox add depth.
  • Retired Travis Shaw.

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