The Chicago White Sox are reportedly putting up a giant “For Sale” sign this winter and looking to deal off some of their bigger pieces in the offseason; the biggest being Chris Sale.
Multiple teams have already called Chicago with interest, one of which reportedly is the New York Yankees, who inquired on Sale at the trade deadline over the summer, but the price for Sale was too steep and continues to be extremely high and might scare off the Yankees in making a deal to land Sale.
Even though Sale’s price tag might be too much for them to handle, the White Sox reportedly have other players who may have the Yankees interested in. One of those players is All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier, who has one year left on his deal with Chicago and could be on the move for the second straight winter per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Frazier, who set career highs in home runs (40) and RBI (98) this past season in Chicago, would be considered a massive upgrade in the lineup for the Yankees. Frazier would especially be an upgrade at third base over their current option, Chase Headley, who the Yankees are trying to trade this winter and find a team willing to take on the remainder of the two years and $26 million on his deal.
Before any kind of deals involving Frazier can be considered serious, Headley would certainly have to get dealt. Frazier wouldn’t be coming to the Yankees to be a DH; he’s a third baseman, and a very good one at it too. Now, if Chicago were willing to take back Headley in a return deal, that would certainly be ideal, but if Chicago is looking to dump salary, Headley’s $13 million a year price tag may not entice them into a trade of Frazier, so that might not be as realistic option.
On the surface, though, a trade for Frazier by the Yankees makes a lot of sense. As a hitter and fielder, Frazier is the superior player over Headley and his 40 home run hitting ability would be a tremendous boost to the lineup.
From a marketing perspective, it makes even more sense considering Frazier is the local guy from Toms River, New Jersey and always has family and friends traveling to see him play, especially in the local stadiums. Having the former Toms River Little League hero would bring in the local crowd on a consistent basis to see Frazier smash the ball out of Yankee Stadium (the fans aren’t flocking to see Headley hit .250.)
From an economic sense, Frazier is set to make around $14 million in his final year of arbitration, which is a bargain considering he could ask and get more on the open market. If Frazier were to test free agency after the 2017 season, the Yankees could get a draft pick as compensation if he leaves and then continue the development of Miguel Andujar, who just got to Class-AA Trenton this past year.
The White Sox do have other pieces that could intrigue the Yankees, such as Melky Cabrera, Jose Quintana, and David Robertson. Robertson could be a realistic option as a closer if the Yankees can’t land any of the other closers on the market. Considering he was once the Yankees closer, he could fit right back in the Bronx again.
But if the Yankees want to make a drastic improvement in the lineup and the field, calling the White Sox up to see what they want for Frazier makes a ton of sense for the 2017 season.