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Yanks deal Diehl to Rox for Tauchman

Acquisition boosts outfield depth; New York places Montgomery on 60-day IL
@BryanHoch
March 23, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- With the Opening Day roster continuing to come into focus, the Yankees moved to address their positional depth on Saturday afternoon, acquiring outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Rockies in exchange for left-hander Phillip Diehl. "We're excited to get a guy that we feel like is pretty talented

TAMPA, Fla. -- With the Opening Day roster continuing to come into focus, the Yankees moved to address their positional depth on Saturday afternoon, acquiring outfielder Mike Tauchman from the Rockies in exchange for left-hander Phillip Diehl.

"We're excited to get a guy that we feel like is pretty talented and can play multiple positions in the outfield, and a guy that does have [Minor League] options," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the club's 7-3 Grapefruit League loss to the Blue Jays. "We'll kind of talk through and see which way we want to go."

The 28-year-old Tauchman has a chance to head north with the Yankees, should the club decide not to carry Tyler Wade as a utility player, or if first baseman Greg Bird's right elbow injury is worse than believed.

"It's one of those bittersweet things," Tauchman said at Rockies camp. "I'll miss the relationships and playing with these guys, but it was really exciting once the shock wore down. It's exciting to go to a team that has such a long history of success and so many Hall of Fame players."

Tauchman made his Major League debut in 2017 and has batted .153 (9-for-59) in 52 career games with Colorado. He spent the majority of last season with Triple-A Albuquerque, batting .323/.408/.571 (130-for-403) with 20 home runs and 81 RBIs in 112 games, en route to being named to the Pacific League's Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star teams.

The Yankees' outfield depth, at one point said to be at least six men deep, has taken repeated hits in recent weeks. Aaron Hicks has not played since March 1 due to chronic back pain, with no timetable to return to baseball activities, and Clint Frazier was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this week after hitting .130 in spring action.

In addition, Jacoby Ellsbury is weeks -- if not months -- away from playing in games due to a stalled rehab from left hip surgery. A converted infielder, Wade has been receiving reps in center field to back up the envisioned outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge.

The 24-year-old Diehl opened eyes in Yankees camp, posting a 4.50 ERA with 17 strikeouts over 10 innings across nine relief appearances. He said that he initially thought the trade was payback for an unintentional cut in front of CC Sabathia in the line to get haircuts in the clubhouse on Saturday morning.

"I thought it was a prank at first, because I had taken CC's spot in the barber chair," Diehl said. "I sat down in front of CC and didn't know it. I thought they were playing a prank on me before camp broke. I kept asking Boone, 'Is this for real? Is this a prank?' But it's not."

To make room on the 40-man roster for Tauchman, left-hander Jordan Montgomery was placed on the 60-day injured list.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.