The Yankees completed a trade on Saturday, sending minor league reliever Phillip Diehl to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Mike Tauchman. Per Yankees skipper Aaron Boone, Tauchman will be given the opportunity to break camp with the team, though nothing has been set in stone quite yet.
Tauchman, 28, has yet to make significant strides in the majors. He’s poised to enter his third MLB season after hitting a paltry .094/.194/.125 across 37 PA with Colorado in 2018. He exhibited some speed and latent power potential in the minors, however, and carried a .323 average, 20 home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 22 chances) while covering all three outfield positions in Triple-A Albuquerque. Should his struggles at the plate continue in the big leagues, he still offers enough positional flexibility to remain a viable backup option in an already-crowded outfield.
Diehl, meanwhile, is several levels removed from his own major-league breakthrough. The 24-year-old lefty split his 2018 campaign between the High-A and Double-A levels of the Yankees’ farm system with a combined 2.51 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 12.9 SO/9 through 75 1/3 innings. According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, the reliever was thrown for a loop when news of the trade broke and went so far as to ask Boone if the deal was a prank.
Phillip Diehl said he thought the trade was a prank because he cut CC Sabathia in line for a haircut this morning. He had to ask Boone, “Is this for real?”
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 23, 2019