The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday they traded closer David Robertson, third baseman Todd Frazier and relief pitcher Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees for prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo and Tyler Clippard.
Robertson, 32, appeared in 62 games for the White Sox last season, finishing 5-3 with a 3.47 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and 75 strikeouts in 62.1 innings. He also notched 37 saves in 44 chances, his third straight season with 34 saves or more. He has a 2.70 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 33.1 innings this year.
He spent his first seven seasons with the Yankees, serving largely as a setup man before taking over the closer role in 2014, after Mariano Rivera retired. He then signed with the White Sox prior to the 2015 campaign, but Rich Eisen of NFL Network was thrilled to see him back in pinstripes:
Rich Eisen @richeisen
If @yankees just added Jersey's own @FlavaFraz21 & got @DRob30 back for 8th inning role and shipped out Clippard, that's a W. 👌2017-7-19 02:53:15
While Robertson solidified the closer position for Chicago over the past two seasons, the team shifted into a rebuilding mode this offseason, trading Adam Eaton and ace Chris Sale in moves predicated on restocking the farm system.
This trade continued the trend that was restarted Thursday, when the White Sox traded starting pitcher Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs for a prospect package that featured Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease.
Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago underscored the rebuilding effort:
Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
The White Sox will have obtained 15 players in four separate deals since last December .2017-7-19 03:16:12
Drew Silva of Rotoworld and the White Sox themselves highlighted just how talented the farm system is at this point:
Drew Silva @drewsilv
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/8BOzlu2N5L2017-7-19 04:03:14
Chicago White Sox @whitesox
With the addition of Rutherford, the #WhiteSox now possess 10 of the Top 100 prospects, the most in @MLB.2017-7-19 04:02:40
While Robertson drew plenty of attention as part of the deal, Frazier was another marquee name, a two-time All-Star who hit 40 home runs in 2016. Phil Rogers of MLB.com noted the change of scenery could benefit the slugger, especially with Aaron Judge in the lineup:
Phil Rogers @philgrogers
Big winner in this trade may be @FlavaFraz21, who gets chance to play alongside Aaron Judge on @Yankees contender. Could be huge in Bronx.2017-7-19 04:00:25
Here are some of the best of the rest of the social media reactions to the trade:
Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
Another thing to consider: Todd Frazier's OPS vs LHP is .818 this season. Chase Headley's OPS vs LHP is .534. Possible platoon in the works?2017-7-19 02:08:20
Dan Devine @YourManDevine
Gotta say: this is not where I saw Ian Clark winding up after winning a ring with the Warriors. https://t.co/hCFdQlcqqM2017-7-19 04:03:28
Jay Zawaski @JayZawaski670
Tito Polo. Best name. https://t.co/HnrQuin3RQ2017-7-19 04:06:05
From New York's perspective, the three players represented major additions as they pursue the Boston Red Sox in the American League East. And after Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the Red Sox were discussing a potential trade for Frazier, the move had to feel even better for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees bolstered their team and prevented Boston from improving with the same pieces, which is sure to go over well with their fans.