The New York Yankees made a big move Tuesday night, as they landed third baseman Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the Chicago White Sox. It was a huge deal that will help shore the Yankees up at the corner infield spots and add two fantastic relievers to their bullpen mix.
Frazier will head to the Bronx in the midst of a down season. Through 81 games entering Tuesday night he was hitting .207 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI. The 31-year-old had just 58 hits and his OPS was .760, while his fWAR of 1.1 is far off his usual pace. But this is a guy who hit 40 home runs last year, 35 in 2015 and 29 in 2014. In the homer-friendly confines of Yankees Stadium, the two-time All-Star could find a groove and start mashing again.
Robertson will head back to New York, where he spent the first seven years of his career as a reliever for the Yankees. The 32-year-old is having an outstanding season, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 47 strikeouts against just 11 walks in 33.1 innings. He also has 13 saves (one blown) in 31 appearances. Robertson is making $12 million this season and is set to make $13 million next year before hitting free agency.
Kahnle has developed into a fantastic reliever over the last two seasons and is having his best season in 2017. So far this year he has a 1-3 record with a 2.50 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 36 innings over 37 appearances. The 27-year-old is under team control through 2021, when he’ll finally be able to hit free agency.
In exchange for the two former All-Stars and Kahnle, the Yankees gave up a package consisting of 20-year-old lefty slugging outfielder Blake Rutherford, 22-year-old lefty Ian Clarkin, 22-year-old center fielder Tito Polo and reliever Tyler Clippard. Rutherford was the Yankees first-round pick (18th overall) in the 2016 MLB Draft, and is currently the 30th-ranked prospect in baseball by MLB.com. Clarkin was the team’s first-rounder in 2013 and MLB.com ranks him as the team’s 19th-best prospect.
Clippard is in the second campaign of a two-year, $12.25 million contract and will be a free agent at the end of the year.
The Yankees are clearly serious about this season. They are going after a title, and are willing to take on rentals to make a run. Meanwhile, the White Sox got Rutherford and Clarkin to help continue their stunning rebuild, and reinforced their now-phenomenal farm system.