A Look at How Some Former Yankees have Performed in 2022
By Chris O’Connor
August 31, 2022
Every season, a big focus on the Yankees is how the new players that the team recently acquired perform in New York. What sometimes gets lost is how players that leave the Yankees do. Here is a tidbit on some notable former Yankees who are still in baseball in 2022, in no particular order.
Gary Sanchez seemed like a prime change-of-scenery candidate after struggling for years in New York, but he has not broken through with the Twins. In 94 games, he has slashed .215/.284/.392 with 12 home runs, a 95 WRC+, and 1.1 fWAR. He will be a free agent after the season.
Like Sanchez, Urshela has been… fine with the Twins. In 107 games, he has slashed .266/.308/.424 with 11 home runs, a 108 WRC+, and 0.8 fWAR. His defense at third has been mixed. Among 59 third baseman with at least 150 innings, Gio ranks tied for 14th with 3 DRS and tied for 55th with -7 OAA. He is under team control through next season.
Voit has been unable to replicate the success that he had during his first few years with the Yankees. He started the year with the Padres, but was included in the Juan Soto trade and is currently with the Nationals. In 100 games between the two teams, he has slashed .225/.316/.415 with 17 home runs, a 108 WRC+, and 0.5 fWAR. He is under team control through 2024, though the rebuilding Nationals may look to deal the 31 year-old in the offseason.
Rougie signed with the Orioles in the offseason and has not played a major role in the team’s surprise season. In 113 games, he has slashed .201/.269/.360 with 11 home runs, a 79 WRC+, and 0.1 fWAR. The 28 year-old will be a free agent after the season.
The brief fan-favorite signed with the Angels in the offseason and has not taken advantage of his first big opportunity at the big-league level. In 112 games, he has slashed .201/.240/.311 with 8 home runs, a 53 WRC+, and 0.6 fWAR. The 28 year-old is unlikely to get a big-league role next season.
Mike Ford and Mike Tauchman
Ford has bounced around the minor leagues since being traded to the Rays in 2021. He is currently up with the Angels big-league roster, but the 29 year-old has just a 63 WRC+ in 63 plate appearances across 4 organizations this season.
Tauchman, meanwhile, struggled after being traded to the Giants in 2021 and was released after the season. He is currently with the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO League.
Speaking of the Giants: Estrada signed with them after being released from the Yankees in early 2021. Estrada was called up by the Giants in June and had some success: in 52 games, he had a 118 WRC+ and 1.1 fWAR. That earned him a starting role in 2022, and the 26 year-old has been solid, if unspectacular, with a slash line of .256/.307/.403, 11 home runs, a 100 WRC+ and 1.7 fWAR. A nice way to establish himself at the big-league level for the former Yankee.
After being released from the Yankees after the 2021 season, Jackson Frazier (formerly Clint) signed with the Cubs. Frazier, who has had a star-crossed career, was set for a starting role before undergoing surgery for an appendicitis in late April. He was activated in late May, struggled his way through 45 plate appearances, and was sent down to Triple-A (where he has since toiled away with a 68 WRC+). A disappointing 2022 for the 27 year-old, former top prospect.
Heaney became public enemy #1 in New York after struggling with a 7.32 ERA in 35.2 innings after coming over from the Angels at the 2021 trade deadline. After being released, he signed with the Dodgers in the offseason. While he has struggled with injuries in 2022, he has been remarkably effective when on the mound. In 9 starts and 41.2 innings, he has a 1.94 ERA and a 35.2% strikeout rate. He is currently healthy and in line to play a big role in the postseason for the MLB-best Dodgers.
The 36 year-old had some highlights in his one year with the Yankees, most notably pitching a no-hitter against the Rangers. But he pitched only 80 innings due to a lingering shoulder injury. He signed with the Rays in the offseason and has stayed mostly healthy; in 24 starts and 128.2 innings, Kluber has pitched to a 4.20 ERA, 3.50 FIP, and 2.5 fWAR. This has been a nice bounce-back season for the veteran.
Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery while still with the Yankees in August 2020. He signed a 2-year deal with the Dodgers that offseason with the expectation that Kahnle would pitch for the club in 2022. He has pitched just 4 innings this season, however, due to a bone bruise in his right elbow. He may be ready to return by mid-September, but this has not been the comeback season that the 33 year-old had hoped for.
After becoming a free agent following an injury-plagued 2020 season, Paxton left the Yankees and signed a one-year deal back with the Mariners. After injuring his elbow in his first start of 2021, he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the season. After signing with the Red Sox in the offseason, the expectation was that he would play a role in the second half of the season after taking time with his recovery. After recently suffering a lat tear in his recovery, he has been ruled out for season. The soon-to-be 34 year-old will be a free agent after the season unless the Red Sox opt into the remaining two years and $26 million on his contract.