The Yankees announced Monday that they’ve traded infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade to the Angels in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. Wade was designated for assignment Friday amid a series of moves as the Yankees set their roster in advance of the Rule 5 protection deadline. The Angels announced that they have designated utilityman Kean Wong for assignment in a corresponding move.
Wade, 27 tomorrow, has spent parts of the past five seasons on the Yankees’ bench, serving as an oft-used utility option while being frequently shuttled between the big leagues and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Last year’s 145 plate appearances were a career-high (though they were spread across 103 games), and Wade’s .268/.354/.323 slash during that small sample was the most productive of MLB stretch of his career. In all, he’s a .212/.298/.307 hitter in 491 plate appearances for the Yankees.
Of course, Wade was always more of a defensive option than a player expected to make meaningful contributions with the bat. During his half-decade run with the Yankees, he saw time at every position other than first base, catcher and pitcher. The bulk of that workload came at second base (546 innings) and shortstop (331 innings), but Wade has 33 appearances at the hot corner and 57 in the outfield.
Wong, the younger brother of Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong, was a fourth-round pick by the Rays back in 2013 but has yet to find his footing in the big leagues. The 26-year-old has seen MLB times both with Tampa Bay and the Halos but managed only a .167/.188/.218 output in an admittedly small sample of 84 plate appearances. The younger Wong is a career .293/.355/.421 hitter in more than 1600 Triple-A plate appearances, however, and he also still has a pair of minor league option years remaining.
Another club in need of some infield depth could conceivably take a chance on Wong, who’ll either be traded, placed on outright waivers or released in the next seven days. Even if Wong goes unclaimed on waivers and is outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake, he’ll have the opportunity to reject that assignment and become a free agent, given that it would be the second time in his career that he’s been outrighted.