Addressing the Needs: Daulton Varsho
Through 1/4th of the season the Yankees are playing great. However, there are concerns for some positions. Are fixes available now?
Who is Daulton Varsho?
Coming out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Daulton Varsho was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with their 2nd round pick in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft. Across his final two collegiate seasons, he bested a 1.000 OPS. He then started his professional career that same season with the Hillsboro Hops (Class A Short Season).
Varsho would be a consistent riser in the Diamondbacks system from then going forward. In 2018 he spent the majority of the year (outside of a short rehab assignment) with the Visalia Rawhide (Class A-Advanced) and played with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. In 2019, Varsho moved up to the Jackson Generals (Double-A), playing well enough to earn consensus Top-100 prospect status which a high ranking of 53 from BaseballAmerica.
Varsho would skip Triple-A (as there was no season) and spent the beginning of the 2020 season at the Diamondbacks alternate training site. He got called up and made his MLB debut on July 30th and stuck around for the rest of the season, playing as the BUC to Carson Kelly. This would continue through the 2021 season, but finding time for Varsho wasn't hard because he also plays center field!
As of this morning, since entering the MLB, Varsho has played in 69 games at center field and 68 games at catcher. In his (short) career, he has hit to a .242/.318/.439 (.756 OPS/107 OPS+).
So far in 2022, he is hitting to a .268/.337/.490 (.827 OPS/136 OPS+) extended triple-slash over 42 games with 25 at catcher and 17 at center field.
Why the Yankees Could/Should Get Him:
Are the Arizona Diamondbacks actually going to contend this year? They've started out the year well at 23-22 (.511 WP), but they are still 4th place in the National League West and have a less than 5% chance to make the postseason.
Daulton Varsho is one of the more valuable players that the Diamondbacks could move, if they so choose to do so. According to BaseballTradeValues, he's their most valuable player that they have at a value of +72.3 MTV. He also has 5 years (2 pre. arb.; 3 arb.) of control (including this season) remaining.
He'd be a player the Yankees really have to believe in, but he would be a solution at multiple positions of need as a platoon catcher (with Higashioka or Trevino) and platoon center fielder (with Hicks or Judge).
I don't have any great ideas on what a trade would/could look like, but options are available to grab Varsho alone, and even more if the Diamondbacks would also like to get Bumgarner off their payroll.
Why the Yankees Couldn't/Shouldn't Get Him:
Remember what I said about Tyler Stephenson and the Cincinnati Reds on Monday? Trading for Varsho means the exact same thing for the Diamondbacks. They have no reason to sell on him now and they- even more so- seem to have a team on the verge of competing.
Add in a very high trade value (that likely wouldn't be able to be met without including Madison Bumgarner and his -43 MTV), the scarcity of great catchers and/or center fielders in the MLB that are somewhat available in trades, and the fact that it's a big risk if he'll be able to stick at his dual position, and it's a hard to make case.
Ethan's Major Take:
Daulton Varsho is the pretty girl you met at a bar who you don't really know, but seems really nice, and on the surface would solve all your problems. However, after an all-out attempt to ask her out- including leaving behind some of your friends who were telling you its a mistake- you realize that this new girl is great but not exactly the best fit. Now, maybe you can deal with that if her family (Madison Bumgarner) is nice or if your former friends start to get into multi-level marketing making it that you wouldn't want to spend time with them anyway, BUT that's a lot to ask for.
If I'm the Yankees, I go with the summer fling (Willson Contreras) instead.