They say you can always come home. For David Robertson, he gets to return to the team he started with. And for Todd Frazier, he’s pretty close to home.
On Tuesday night, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox completed a seven-player trade that sent Frazier, Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees and Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, Tito Polo and Tyler Clippard to Chicago. The deal became official once the two teams were done playing in their respective games last night.
With Greg Bird’s continual injuries that might keep him out even longer, the Yankees were in dire need of a corner infielder with power. The asking prices for Eric Hosmer and Yonder Alonso were going to be too high, thus, the Yankees shifted to the White Sox and inquired on Frazier.
The White Sox are shedding payroll with their rebuild, so moving David Robertson became part of the plan as well. Chicago was reportedly in talks with the Boston Red Sox regarding both Frazier and Robertson, but despite the reports, nothing ever got serious.
But the Yankees, who are 3.5 games back of Boston in the American League East and in the A.L. Wild Card race, are clearly going for it and will attempt to make the playoffs with this trade. By making this trade, it clearly sends a signal that the Yankees are all in for the second half. The next trade the Yankees should make is for a starting pitcher given the fact that they just strengthened the bullpen into one of the best in the sport.
A bullpen that already had Adam Warren, Chad Green, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman now adds David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle into the unit. Good luck to the American League teams facing the Yankees with those arms. Plus, the Yankees were able to rid themselves of Clippard, who had been struggling to the point where many thought he’d be designated for assignment.
Sure, the Yankees had to deal their number three prospect in the system in Blake Rutherford, who was the team’s first round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. But the Yankees have a ton of outfielders in the minor leagues and in the major leagues, so they could afford to spare Rutherford, who might not have been ready for a few more years. In Chicago, Rutherford has a clear path to the major leagues since the White Sox are in a total re-build.
Frazier, though, was the big key in this trade. He’s a rental, as he will be a free agent after the season. But Todd Frazier gets three months now to rejuvenate his season and play for a contending team in the middle of a pennant race. He’s never been afraid of the big stage in his life, which goes all the way back to when he helped the Toms River, New Jersey Little League team win the World Series in 1998 over Japan. We all saw him thrive on an even bigger stage when he won the 2015 Home Run Derby on his then home-field with the Cincinnati Reds.
Whether he’s asked to play first base or third base, Todd Frazier has become a very big part of the Yankees lineup in the 2017 season. They didn’t get much from Chris Carter and because of injuries, didn’t get much from Bird and Tyler Austin.
There will be a lot of expectations on Frazier, especially considering the fact that he’ll be now playing in front of a lot of family and friends when he’s at Yankee Stadium. And not to mention, the entire Yankee fan base that’s itching to win again. But like we said, Todd Frazier isn’t scared of the big stage and could end up thriving in the Bronx.
With this trade, the Yankees didn’t mortgage their future and not only got better for the rest of the 2017 season, but improved for the future as well, especially with the bullpen additions. The Yankees struck big with this deal and for their sake, it should get them back to October baseball.