Colorado Rockies trade Mike Tauchman to New York Yankees

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 30: Mike Tauchman #3 of the Colorado Rockies leans on the dugout railing before the start of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 30, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 30: Mike Tauchman #3 of the Colorado Rockies leans on the dugout railing before the start of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 30, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies have a lot of talent in the outfield that is causing a logjam for playing time and opportunities. On Saturday afternoon, the Rockies made a move to help open up some room in a very crowded space.

Mike Tauchman was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the New York Yankees on Saturday, joining a list of players with Rockies ties making their way to the Bronx (along with DJ LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino and Troy Tulowitzki). In exchange, Colorado received left-hander Phillip Diehl.

The move not only frees up some room in the Rockies outfield but also on the 40-man roster. Tauchman’s departure likely makes space for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who was invited to spring training as a non-roster player but will likely be on the Opening Day roster.

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Always considered a player with potential, the 28-year-old Tauchman rarely got Major League opportunities and couldn’t take advantage of them when he did. In two seasons, Tauchman, a former 10th-round draft pick, had just 59 at-bats (69 plate appearances) with a career batting average of .153. Last season, with 37 plate appearances, posted an .094/.194/.125 slash line.

With Garrett Hampson and Ian Desmond likely getting more playing time in the outfield in 2019 than the duo registered in 2018, at-bats and time on the grass is going to be a competition for players like Raimel Tapia and Noel Cuevas alongside the expected starting outfield of David Dahl, Charlie Blackmon and Desmond.

Diehl, meanwhile, is a 24-year-old southpaw who advanced as high as Double-A last season. In 14 games at the Double-A level last season, Diehl was 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA with one save. He allowed 18 hits in 26.2 innings and struck out 29 while walking 11.

Since being drafted in the 27th round in 2016, Diehl has a career 2.78 ERA in the minors. He has already been assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

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He will provide pitching depth for the Rockies in the minor leagues. He also thought, at first, that the trade was a prank.

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