ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news tonight that the Yankees have dealt for Seattle Mariners DH Edwin Encarnacion. The Bombers are sending back Juan Then — amusingly acquired from the Mariners in the Nick Rumbelow trade — according to Joel Sherman.
Encarnacion has flat-out mashed in Seattle. He leads the American League in homers with 21 and has put up a healthy 139 wRC+, 12th best in the AL, right ahead of Luke Voit. Any contender in the AL could use a slugger like this, even the Yanks, who are about to be flooded with OF/1B/DH types. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton should be back soon, causing an obvious logjam with Encarnacion’s arrival. How many teams would love a ‘problem’ like finding playing time for hitters like Judge, Stanton, Voit and Encarnacion?
My best guess right now? Clint Frazier is headed down to the minors or out via trade and Brett Gardner slides into a fourth-outfielder role. Stanton and Judge are likely playing the outfield almost every day, while Voit handles first and Encarnacion DHs. There will be days where Encarnacion sits and someone else DHs, though; what a luxury to have.
While we wait to see how the front office addresses the shaky starting rotation, the offense has grown even stronger.