Are we buyers or sellers?? Should we live for the moment or build toward the future?? Oh yeah, it’s that time of year again in Major League Baseball. The time when General Managers make decisions that determine their employment status. Every season there are teams who are clearly out of the playoff race (sellers) and teams clearly in the playoff race (buyers). Door opens..grey area enters. And then there are teams who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Many thought the New York Yankees fell into this unenviable area. Many would be wrong about that.
Tuesday night, the Yankees definitively become buyers in this year’s trade market, as they acquired 3 players from the Chicago White Sox. At 38-53, the White Sox hold the worst record in the American League. Selling off players who aren’t part of their long-term future is the right decision. The question is, are the Yankees making the right decision by trading prospects for players who can contribute now?? As with anything, only time will tell.
The Yankees acquired Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle for Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, Tito Polo, and Tyler Clippard. Todd Frazier is a third baseman with solid power and deceptive speed. He also possesses the ability to play first base. This all sounds great, but there must be a catch…. Oh, well, see the thing is, is ummmm..he’s hitting .207. .207?!?! Yup. No typo there. Now, Frazier’s career batting average is .247, so I’m sure he’ll slowly move that in the right direction, but expect Frazier to bring solid pop to an already dangerous lineup. He’s an expiring contract, so he’s a 2-month rental.
David Robertson, former Yankees’ closer, and Tommy Kahnle will provide much needed bullpen support. What was seen as the Yankees’ greatest strength at the start of the season, has become their biggest weakness. Robertson will most likely slide into the 7th inning role, while Kahnle will be a 6th inning, Swiss-Army Knife type reliever for the Yankees. Both relief pitchers are strikeout machines with live arms. Robertson is under contract through 2018, and Kahnle is under contract until 2021 (I really like that part of this deal by the way).
Now let’s meet the prospects the Yankees packed up and shipped out. Blake Rutherford was their #3 prospect. He’s a 20-year old outfielder (the Yankees have plenty of those), currently hitting .281 in Single-A. He’s the biggest prize in this deal for the White Sox, and his development over the next 5 years will determine the victor here. Ian Clarkin is a left-handed starting pitcher (22 years old) who is having a nice season at High-A Ball. And Tito Polo (love the name) is a 22-year old, speedy outfielder in Double-A. It’s extremely difficult to evaluate a trade involving 3 players, all 22 or younger, but I think this is a good trade for the Yankees.
They part ways with 1 very solid prospect in exchange for 2 proven bullpen arms and 1 infield power hitter. And I haven’t even mentioned the best part of the trade yet….
They rid themselves of Tyler Clippard!! Tyler Clippard, who’s been traded more times in his career than I’ve done laundry in my life, will play for his 6th MLB team. And for good reason..HE SUCKS!!
Following this trade, the Yankees must continue their buying ways, by bringing in a starting pitcher. To truly give themselves a fighting chance this year, they need a solid starting pitcher to fill out the rotation. Luis Cessa has shown he’s not ready for the big show, and I wouldn’t bring up Chance Adams (Yankees’ best pitching prospect) now. With the Yankees looking to make an October push, they should allow Adams to hone his skills at Triple-A, while they bring in an experienced starter.
What do you think of the Yankees’ trade?? Like it, love it, or hate it?? Tell me in the comment section below.
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