Michael Kay concerned at Yankees ‘terrifying’ trade of three outfielders

The Yankees acquired Juan Soto, Trent Grisham, and Alex Verdugo through trades in December, 2023.

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The Yankees’ acquisition of three outfielders during the Winter Meetings is causing concern for YES play-by-play announcer Michael Kay. The long-time team voice is apprehensive of the impact the trade will have on the team and its captain Aaron Judge.

With the recent additions of Juan Soto and Trent Grisham from the Padres, along with Alex Verdugo from the Red Sox, the Yankees now find themselves with a crowded outfield. This development has raised apprehensions for Kay, who is also the host of “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York.

Kay’s Yankees trade concern focused on Aaron Judge

Kay expressed discomfort with the prospect of Aaron Judge playing in center field, mentioning that it was one aspect of both deals made during the winter meetings that came close to terrifying the Yankees supporters.

Aaron Judge is seen during the game vs. the Rays on July 31, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
AP

This follows Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s statement to reporters on Thursday, affirming that if the season commenced immediately, Aaron Judge would assume the role of the team’s Opening Day center fielder.

Former Yankees hitting coach Sean Casey echoed concerns about Judge’s potential role in center field on “The Mayor’s Office” podcast on Wednesday. Casey emphasized that such a position could subject the former MVP to excessive wear and tear.

Kay conveyed trust in Brian Cashman’s awareness that it might not be ideal for Aaron Judge to play 100 games in center field and suggested that action would likely be taken. They speculated that perhaps Verdugo could be traded for pitching, indicating uncertainty. Kay added that the Yankees’ optimal defensive arrangement would involve placing Trent Grisham in center field and positioning Judge and Soto in either corner outfield, depending on the decision made.

Can Trent Grisham help ease the concern?

Grisham, a recipient of two Gold Glove Awards, undeniably stands out as the premier defensive outfielder, who the Yankees can use. He surpasses Aaron Judge, Soto, and Verdugo in both outs above average and range runs above average, indicating his exceptional ability to reach balls hit in his vicinity.

Additionally, Grisham boasts the most extensive experience in center field, having accumulated over 4,000 innings in the position—significantly more than the combined innings of Judge, Soto, and Verdugo.

However, the challenge lies in his offensive performance, drawing comparisons to players like Joey Gallo—renowned for elite defense but with a lower batting average and a propensity for strikeouts. In the last season, Grisham posted a .198 batting average, ranking as the second-lowest in MLB, with 154 strikeouts in 555 plate appearances, equating to a 27.7 strikeout percentage.

Despite the concerns, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman sees the outfield logjam as a positive situation, emphasizing the strength that comes with having multiple options.

Cashman, as reported by Max Goodman of NJ Advance Media, mentioned that ultimately, Aaron Boone would be responsible for making those decisions. He emphasized the strength in numbers, stating that the team had significantly enhanced their outfield roster with these acquisitions.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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22 thoughts on “Michael Kay concerned at Yankees ‘terrifying’ trade of three outfielders

  1. Kay is absolutely right. I like Grisham in CF but the guy has to hit as well. I could see Verdugo being traded for a pitcher. They have to protect Judge.

      1. Dominguez is a future Hall Of Famer. They can let Soto go after next year as opposed to giving him 500 million.

  2. Maybe try Verdugo in Center? Someone’s going to be playing out of position, better Verdugo than Judge. Also, Juan Soto might be a terrible defender, but he’s going to HAVE TO play Left once Jasson Dominguez comes back, so might it not be better to just bite the bullet and have him play left from the beginning to get used to the stadium?

  3. Why are we spending so much in Soto who goes free agent next year, verdugo hope he fix’s in to Yankees way of playing, Grisham can’t hit. Why u think judge can’t play centerfield, I like his glove but of course his power in hitting is unmatched. We need pitching now, we gave up 5 pitchers, so who’s left.

  4. Whatever else they do it MUST include getting rid of Stanton. Otherwise the season will be a busy. He’s dead weight and taking up a spot! Get rid of at ALL COST!

    1. What no one is even mentioning is how excited everyone was with The Martian and IKF out there and then of course there is a player out of options. In addition let us remember that we had perhaps the best Center fielder in Josh Bader and then Andrew Benintendi in left and did not make it to the promised land. Both Soto and our other acquisition are merely 2024 loans and nothing more. With Shohei getting 700 million expect a certain pitcher the Yankees want to desire 500 million and the prospect of extending Soto virtually zero unless you want to give him 500 million or more.

      1. Don’t want Judge in center field period. He’s not a center fielder. Have to be a way above defender to play center, especially in Yankee Stadium. Boston had Milton Bradley in center for years. He couldn’t hit his weight, but he could play a mean CF. Judge doesn’t belong in center, just like Gleyber Torres doesn’t belong at SS. Put them where they’ll succeed.

  5. l think the Yankees should see we can get rid Verdugo to get some pitching, and see if we can sign Belanger to play centerfold, l don’t like the fact Judge playing 95 games or more in ceterfield.

  6. l also heard that the Yankees were thinking players where facial hair, l’m a long time Yankee fan and l’m against that idea l like us to be different, some of these guys look like bumbs,with beards down to their chest a nd hair down to their shoulders, that’s not a baseball player for me, and yes l’m a old fart l’m 70, sorry that’s how l feel.

    1. Your not old Joe, but I agree with you in regards to facial hair. Keep their faces clean and continue with that tradition. Every time they acquire a player with long hair and facial hair the players have always been willing to remove and wear the pinstripes.
      BTW, I’m 71

    2. Your not old Joe, but I agree with you in regards to facial hair. Keep their faces clean and continue with that tradition. Every time they acquire a player with long hair and facial hair the players have always been willing to remove and wear the pinstripes.
      BTW, I’m 71

    3. I’m also 70, and I couldn’t care less how a player wears his hair or beard, or even if he wears a garter under his uniform and breathes thru his eyelids, as long as he can hit and play defense or pitch if he’s a pitcher.

  7. Totally ridiculous. Judge is an athlete there is no more wear and tear playing centerfield than there is right field either out there running down a few flyballs or you’re not if anything playing right field is more dangerous. You make more throws online drives and you have to worry about slamming into the walls in the corner as a matter of fact, the only time judge got hurt was slamming into the wall in right field. He will be fine, no matter where he plays.

    1. I agree with that. I think judge can play centerfield. Yankees should just stick with it and wait to see what happens. we just need to get some pitching.

  8. The outfield situation today is better than it was all last year. Boone (and injuries) will dictate the lineup each day. Soto can DH when ((not if) Stanton goes on the IL.
    The unknown factor is Doninguez. He is the (hopefully) superstar center fielder of the future, pushing Verdigo to fourth outfielder. And then there are still possible trades of either Verdugo or Grisham.

  9. If the Martian comes back, He’s going to play Center field… Judge in right and Soto in left. come trade deadline…. perspectives will change

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