harrison bader yankees
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have placed center fielder Harrison Bader on waivers, according to Newsday’s Erik Boland.

Bader has hit .242 with seven home runs, 37 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in 82 games this season. He’s slumped since the All-Star break, batting just .225 with seven RBI and a .535 OPS.

The Yankees acquired the Gold Glove center fielder from the Cardinals at last year’s trade deadline, sending lefty Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis. It was a controversial deal considering Bader was on the injured list with a foot injury at the time.

The Yankees were busy with other roster moves too, having released veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson. As of this writing, Harrison Bader is still listed as batting sixth and playing center field in Tuesday’s lineup against the Tigers. Isiah Kiner-Falefa manned center in Monday’s 4-1 win.

And that’s Bader’s brief Yankees legacy in a nutshell. He was a fun player and great defensive center fielder held back by injuries. He missed the first month of the season with an oblique injury and then missed over two weeks with a strained hamstring. All while continuing to play elite defense in center field with outs above average (OAA) at +8.

This plays out one of two ways. A team needing center field help for the final push claims Bader, or the Yankees ride out the rest of the season. Either way, re-signing him in the offseason is looking highly unlikely.

And if the Yankees do unload Bader, expect Jasson Dominguez to get a serious look. He’s hit .478 with a 1.208 OPS in seven games at Triple-A. Even in a hitter-friendly setting, he’s continuing to make himself stand out and is still just 20 years old.

The Yankees are clearly retooling ahead of next season. It’s sad to lose a hometown hero in Harrison Bader, but sentiment doesn’t win games. Onward and upward to 2024, and hopefully with Dominguez.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.