The Yankees Can’t Let Aaron Boone’s Love Affair With Tyler Wade Go On

Yankees time with Tyler Wade on the grill

Yankees utility man Tyler Wade can thank Aaron Boone alone for making the team. But loyalty shouldn’t last forever – when is it time to move on.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone likes Tyler Wade – a lot! He likes him so much that Wade is still with the team as Boone’s go-to guy off the bench as a defensive replacement or a pinch-hitter.

Wade has served in that capacity with no challenge for all of Boone’s three years with the Yankees. Over the span of his four seasons with the Yankees, Wade’s paltry offensive numbers look like this:

Source: Baseball-Reference
Source: Baseball-Reference

Even Wade’s much-touted speed on the basepaths shows only thirteen bases swiped.

Of concern to the Yankees, though, should be the lack of progress from day one up to and including Spring Training this year (.220 BA, .250 OBP).

For how long can the Yankees afford to carry a good-field no-hit utility player on their roster?

Yankees: Is Tyler Wade A Necessity Or A Luxury?

But wait a minute. Is Tyler Wade’s reputation as a good-fielding player all it’s hyped to be by Aaron Boone? The numbers say different.

Yankees Tyler Wade speed nothing to write home about (nj.com)
Yankees Tyler Wade speed nothing to write home about (nj.com)

Wade’s career fielding percentage of .981 puts him in the middle of the pack for shortstops and second baseman. His Defensive Runs Saved is only one point above zero, which is considered the norm for this stat.

Tyler Wade is versatile, capable of playing three infield positions and two of the three outfield positions.

But these types of players are a dime a dozen today. Many, like Wade, are groomed by their team to be “the guy” off the bench.

Over the years, the Yankees have been afforded players like Ronald Torreyes, who hit .292 and .280 in consecutive years, Randy Velarde, and Luis Soto, all of whom contributed with the bat while holding their own in the field.

Tyler Wade: Free Roamer Or Free Rider

Tyler Wade is the exception and not the norm of what the Yankees have been accustomed to. Will he make or break the Yankees this year – of course not.

Yankees Thairo Estrada: More tune-up needed - or a victim of Tyler Wade?
Yankees Thairo Estrada: More tune-up needed – or a victim of Tyler Wade?

But the real question is how much of a contribution will Wade make to a team on the hunt for a World Series title, and are there not players of equal or better value on the Yankees roster who should be given a chance.

For example, here’s a list of transactions the Yankees made over the past month as they trimmed their roster of infielders down.

Derek Dietrich, Thairo Estrada, and Oswald Peraza were all either sent down or released. Okay, none of them set off fireworks but then again, neither does Tyler Wade.

Yankees Are Looking At More Than Just Wade

Regardless of whether Tyler Wade stays or goes as the season moves on, there is justice in the air while Aaron Boone himself is on the Yankees’ hot seat following three years and no title, despite an overload of talent.

Remember, too, Boone has also put himself squarely in the middle of the looming Gary Sanchez debacle. That’s two players with his name written all over them while the Yankees chase that all-elusive Number 28.

Yankees And The Limits Of Loyalty In Baseball

Look, Tyler Wade is the epitome of a New York Yankee. He’s in full accord with the Yankee’s way of doing things, and he does nothing to rock the boat in the clubhouse – all good attributes.

But other than the fact he is cheap and controllable until 2025, when he reaches free-agent status, is it not reasonable to assume that Brian Cashman can find a suitable replacement with some offensive prowess?

Aaron Boone - A Lot On His Plate (Photo: CBS Sports)
Aaron Boone – A Lot On His Plate (Photo: CBS Sports)

That would require Cashman “one-upping” Boone on the Yankees’ totem pole of authority during a season. But so what if a move of this kind improves the team.

As for Boone, he clearly prides himself on being a player’s manager, always supportive (publicly), with personal experience that validates what he came to know as a player himself – this is a hard game!

But in baseball, loyalty extends only as far as the game being played today or the fifteen games you’ve previously played.

Yankees Tyler Wade: The Hammer Will Fall

Tyler Wade is here – by default or not – so he deserves a chance to reverse his numbers in the same way Gio Urshela did almost overnight when he first came to the Yankees.

But after four years of little or no progress, the leash on Tyler Wade needs to be short, and Brian Cashman (reluctantly) should be scouring the market and on the phone to have a replacement for Wade readily available.

The Yankees can’t do better than Tyler Wade??

I hate columns like this when I write them, especially because Tyler Wade is (from all we know) a “good guy.”

We know, too, that Wade was affected by last week’s rumors and reports that he may not make the team – sent down to the minors instead.

Well, he survived the crunch, and here he is, ready to step on the field tomorrow afternoon for Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

But don’t be mistaken, Tyler, because it’s time to step up or be forced out – and that’s just baseball.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

It’s not a “love affair”…he’s the most versatile utility player on the team…and the best base runner…and a lefty bat…and league minimum salary…now you know something
The Yankees have enough bats to carry two guys that are excellent in the field but weak hitters, especially when one of them can play seven positions. Wade might be the difference between fitting him in somewhere so that someone can their natural position or having a left-handed throwing 3B or SS.
Cool. And who’s pinch-running in the eighth inning in a tie game???
Probably the same guy plugged in at 2B when DJLM has to play first because Jay Bruce is icing his back…
Great take 🙄
If it wasn’t for his speed, defensive ability, and versatility he would never make any MLB team. He can’t hit a grapefruit with a guitar!
In all honesty, it was between him or Dietrich for the spot and they both hit terribly in the Spring. With Dietrich agreeing to wait at the alternate site they aren’t risking anything by going with Wade first.
I mean, Wade is what he is. He’s never been projected to be a world-beater and I don’t have a fanboy boner for the guy, but he’s cheap, under control, has VERY good speed, which is currently an underrated asset that any team can always use situationally (he’s also a way better/smarter baserunner that Bonk Gardner ever was) and he has a passable MLB caliber glove in a utility role.
If they released him tomorrow, someone would pick him up in a heartbeat and immediately start using him exactly as the Yankees have done. Guys like that aren’t really ever seen as big parts because they’re not, but they are good at little things. Baseball is a million little things added together and managers need those tools around to use in those “what now” moments. Every championship team ever has had a guy like that on it.
If it wasn’t for his speed, defensive ability, and versatility he would never make any MLB team. He can’t hit a grapefruit with a guitar! Heck, even back in time where shortstops were just there for defense, even Dal Maxvill had a career .217 average, and two years hit .250 or more!
Admin
“cheap and controllable” is the key thing with Wade. He’s an acceptable utility bench guy, can play multiple positions in a pinch, and a pretty decent baserunner when needed.
Even the greatest teams have a player like Wade. I don’t think he’s going anywhere unless a better fit comes up through the farm system, or along as a piece of a larger trade.
Tyler isn’t a cornerstone of the team, he’s a valuable utility man, that can fill a few holes in a pinch. A good utility player is invaluable over a long season !!!
I like Tyler Wade. He is the fastest player on the team, a very good and versatile infielder. He has also played outfield. I was happy to see he made the team and hope his batting improves.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.