In somewhat of a late twist, the New York Yankees signed OF Franchy Cordero as another addition to its outfield. The 28-year-old Cordero is set to be a depth option for a banged-up Yankees team that will be without center field Harrison Bader to start the season. While Cordero has never been a regular in the Majors, the ex-Red Sox does possess some intriguing tools.
A Look at Cordero
New Yankees outfielder Franchy Cordero has logged Major League action in each of the last six regular seasons, but has only played in 227 games in his MLB career. The 28-year-old Cordero has long been an intriguing player, thanks to high exit velocities, above-average-pop, and good foot speed. However, he’s largely been an unreliable option for Major League teams.
Across stints with Boston, Kansas City, and San Diego, Cordero has hit just .221/.290/.386 over his career. A right-handed hitter with a career Whiff% rate of 37.1%, about nine percentage points below the MLB average, Cordero is a quintessential risk-or-reward hitter. He’s posted double-digit Barrel% rates on a regular basis, but he’s been very susceptible to breaking balls and making weak contact.
Cordero spent the spring with the Orioles, and did quite well. Across 47 PA, Cordero hit .413/.426/.674 with a pair of home runs, seven extra base hits, and nine runs batted in. But, Cordero couldn’t crack an O’s roster that is set to feature Cedric Mullins, Austin Hays, and Anthony Santander, with Ryan McKenna and Kyle Stowers as reserve options. The 28-year-old didn’t sit on the market for very long, as he will reportedly join the Yankees on a Major League deal.
A Look at the Yankees Outfield
It seemed likely prior to March 29 that Estevan Florial — a former top prospect that’s out of options — would start the regular season on the Yankees alongside Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and infielder/outfielder Oswaldo Cabrera. Florial beat out Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun on March 28, which set up the speedy outfielder to make the Opening Day roster. Now, that’s uncertain at this time.
Obviously, the Yankees will need to sort out its roster prior to Opening Day on March 30. It’s not hard to see why New York would want Cordero, given his power and speed. However, this is merely a stopgap until Harrison Bader recovers from an oblique injury. Cordero has never been a true starter in the Majors, and will most likely be a reserve option that alternates into the lineup every other day.
Still, a solid spring and an injury to a key piece for the Yankees opened the door for Cordero.