FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tyler Wade was all but certain to make the Yankees’ 25-man roster out of camp . . . until he suddenly wasn’t.
Wade was told Sunday he'll start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Wade didn’t attempt to hide his anger and disappointment, which were in equal supply, after the Yankees concluded their Grapefruit League season with a 5-3 victory over the Twins on Sunday at Hammond Stadium.
None of which short-term, and maybe long-term, is going to help him organizationally.
“It kind of blindsided me,” said Wade, who went 1-for-3 Sunday and hit .320 with an .878 OPS in 19 exhibition games.
When he was told he sounded ticked off, Wade replied: “Very.”
The versatile Wade, 24, a natural infielder who began playing all three outfield spots in the last three years of his development and provides a speed dimension, has a .161/.218/.250 slash line in 124 major-league at-bats.
Aaron Boone said he was in line to make the roster, but that changed late Saturday afternoon when the Yankees, in need of outfield depth with Aaron Hicks set to start the season on the injured list, acquired Mike Tauchman, who can play all three outfield positions, from the Rockies.
Tauchman, 28, a lefthanded hitter and thrower, will join the Yankees in Washington for their exhibition finale Monday night.
“I didn’t think it was a problem,” Wade said of his reaction when he heard about the Tauchman trade. “Just the way I performed this spring, I did everything they asked me to do. I played well. I made the adjustments offensively, and now it’s my defense that’s not good enough.”
Asked what Boone’s message was, Wade said: “That they need a real outfielder. Apparently, I’m not.”
Boone did not recall the conversation the same way.
“I even told Tyler I could see a situation where when we get healthier, he becomes more of a realistic option because of his versatility, but no issues with his defense,” Boone said. “In fact, it’s only grown in my eyes.”
Boone also said “he’s going to be here at some point” this season and help the Yankees, but that did not make Wade feel any better.
“I don’t think anything can make me feel better right now, to be honest with you,” Wade said. “I just wanted to break with the team and I thought my performance offensively and defensively showed that.”