The team announced that the Bronxville, N.Y. native has been claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
"It just means so much to me to be a New York City kid playing in the Bronx for the Yankees," Bader said after the news broke. "Yeah, it’s just really special for a lot of reasons. There’s a lot of good moments and I’m just really excited because regardless of the situation, no one can ever take the fact that I put that uniform on … I’m just very, very excited and thankful for the opportunity, and, man, that was special.
The 29-year-old outfielder was originally acquired by the Yankees last August in a deal that sent left-hander Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals. While he played just 14 regular season games with the Bombers in 2022, slashing .217/.245/.283, his bat came to the life in a huge way in the postseason.
In nine playoff games with the Yanks, Bader’s slash line jumped to .333/.429/.833 as he blasted five home runs to go along with eight runs scored, six RBI, and four walks against the Cleveland Guardians and Houston Astros.
And through it all, Bader played exceptional defense in centerfield, locking down a spot that has been tough for the Yankees to fill in recent seasons.
But due in part to a string of injuries, from his oblique to his head/neck area, to his hamstring and most recently his ribs. Bader has been able to play just 83 games this season, and his impact has not been the same, as evidenced by his .239/.275/.365 slash line, seven homers, and 37 RBI.
Now, Bader has a chance to make his mark in Cincy, as the Reds will pick up the remainder of his salary for the season, with Bader set to be a free agent at the end of the year. Perhaps a return to the Yankees could even be in the cards.