Todd Frazier, David Robertson Traded to Yankees for Tyler Clippard, Prospects

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 19, 2017

DENVER, CO - JULY 08:  Todd Frazier #21 of the Chicago White Sox scores on a Yolmer Sanchez 2 RBI triple in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning at Coors Field on July 8, 2017 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

For the second time in two years, third baseman Todd Frazier has been traded.

On Tuesday, the Chicago White Sox announced they shipped Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees for Tyler Clippard and three prospects, including outfielder Blake Rutherford.

The White Sox acquired Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015 as part of a three-team deal. He did not turn in the kind of year Chicago was hoping for in 2016; despite hitting a career-high 40 home runs, he recorded a career-low .225 batting average and .302 on-base percentage.

This season, the two-time All-Star is hitting a paltry .207, and his slugging percentage has dropped from .464 last season to .432, though his on-base percentage has jumped 26 points to .328.

Frazier is in the final year of his contract, so the Yankees are merely taking a chance on him before he potentially walks away for a long-term deal.

The White Sox have fully embraced their rebuilding effort, which started when they dealt Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. Frazier didn't have a long-term future with the franchise, so getting something for him now makes sense.

The prize was Rutherford, the 30th-ranked prospect in MLB.com's database. 

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Through 71 appearances with the Yankees' South Atlantic League affiliate in Charleston, South Carolina, this season, the 20-year-old slashed .281/.342/.391 with two home runs, 30 RBI and nine stolen bases. 

Clippard, meanwhile, is headed for free agency at season's end and doesn't figure to be long for the rebuilding White Sox. In 36.1 innings this season, Clippard has a 4.95 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 42 strikeouts and 19 walks. 

Chicago also acquired Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo. Clarkin, 22, a left-handed pitcher who was drafted 33rd overall in 2013, became the team's 18th-ranked prospect. He has a 2.62 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 15 games, including 14 starts, this season. Polo is a 22-year-old outfielder who's hitting .307/.369/.455 with five home runs and 27 steals in 74 games across two leagues this year.

For New York, Frazier could represent an upgrade at third base—where Chase Headley has been solid but unspectacular. Entering Tuesday night, Headley was slashing .258/.341/.371, but he's come up short in the power department with just four home runs.

There's also the possibility the Yankees could keep Headley at the hot corner and make Frazier their everyday first baseman—a position at which he logged more than 650 innings during the 2012 and 2014 campaigns—since Chris Carter was ineffective and Greg Bird has been sidelined with an ankle injury.

Robertson and Kahnle should fortify a bullpen that already ranked third in the American League with a 3.51 ERA.

As the New York Post's Joel Sherman noted, those acquisitions will be key since they can help shorten the game for a rotation that just lost Michael Pineda (Tommy John surgery) for the season.

A member of the Yankees from 2008 to 2014, Robertson is 4-2 this season with 13 saves, a 2.70 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.3.

Then there's Kahnle, who has a 2.50 ERA and career-best 0.97 WHIP along with 60 strikeouts and just seven walks in 36 innings.

Robertson is under contract through 2018, while Kahnle will be arbitration eligible through 2020.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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