The Bombers sent him to Tampa in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 17, 2021
Ford is already 28 years old and while he has some good minor league numbers, he hasn’t been able to establish himself with the Yankees.
He was very good in 2019, with a .909 OPS and 12 home runs in 50 games.
However, he has slumped ever since, batting just .134/.250/.276 in 156 major league plate appearances since the beginning of the 2020 shortened season.
Ford was designated for assignment last week, so the Yankees needed to trade him, release him, or put him on waivers.
They did it because they needed the roster spot for returning reliever Zack Britton.
For Ford, he will hope to have more opportunities with the Rays, which in turn will try to work some of their player development magic and turn him into what he was in 2019.
Will the Yankees miss him?
The answer is, most likely, no.
Ford Had His Chance To Impress
Ford is a useful depth piece to have around that almost every organization would want on their rosters.
However, the Yankees have had a terrible first base situation in 2021 due to Luke Voit’s injury, and Ford was one of the players given a chance to impress and bring some respectability until Voit returned.
He didn’t take advantage of that chance, batting .133/.278/.283 with three homers and six RBI in 72 plate appearances.
It isn’t the biggest of samples, but given his struggles in 2020 (.083/.207/.083 in 29 plate appearances), we now have a little over 100 plate appearances in which Ford hasn’t shown much.
Given that he is slow and a bad defender at first base, if he is not hitting, then he isn’t providing any value.
Voit is due back next week if all things go right, so the Yankees will finally have a solution there.
The Yankees Seem To Prefer Chris Gittens At This Point
And for depth, Gittens had already surpassed Ford in the organizational depth chart.
He has been playing some first base since last week, and while his overall numbers still don’t look good, he recently homered.
He also hit a crucial run-scoring single on Thursday that helped seal the Yankees’ sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gittens was hitting .283/.486/.585 with four homers in Triple-A prior to receiving the call.
In the Yankees’ consideration, they prefer Gittens’ on-base ability and power potential at this point as organizational first base depth.
No doubt about this one.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 16, 2021
While Ford was a longtime member of the organization, chances are that they won’t miss his production going forward and will roll with Voit and Gittens at the position.
The trade could also provide more playing time opportunities for Ford.
All things considered, the Yankees will probably not regret trading Ford.