The New York Yankees made a shocking deadline trade around 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
The St. Louis Cardinals were desperately looking for pitching help, and the Yankees have wanted to shore up center field defense for a while now.
The trade was a bit odd for the Yankees given that their pitching depth is not exactly abundant, especially after losing Luis Severino to injury, but there is no denying that Bader is a nice player.
Currently sidelined with plantar fasciitis, he could be back in September.
A current Yankees player, Matt Carpenter, played for the Cardinals for a long time, until 2021.
He is very much familiar with what Bader, who made his debut with the Cards in 2017, has to offer.
The Best Defensive Center Fielder In The Game
He says he is the best defensive center fielder in the game when healthy.
“Matt Carpenter on his former and now current teammate Harrison Bader: ‘You can’t convince me that he’s not the best defensive center fielder,’” Chris Kirschner of The Athletic tweeted after his conversation with the veteran slugger.
Matt Carpenter on his former and now current teammate Harrison Bader: “You can’t convince me that he’s not the best defensive center fielder.”
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) August 3, 2022
In fact, Bader won the Gold Glove award in 2021 with the Cardinals, and wowed everybody with his incredible range, routes, positioning, and athleticism.
Last year, Bader had 15 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and 14 Outs Above Average (OAA), both elite numbers.
He made impossible plays happen frequently.
He has been injured this year and hasn’t played as much as last year, but still boasts 5 OAA.
If he is healthy come playoff time, Bader will have a huge impact on the team’s defensive outlook.
The price to acquire him wasn’t low, but it could very well be worth it.