Yankees don’t want to trade Clint Frazier, and rightfully so
Despite being optioned to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre for the third time this season, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman let it be known he prefers not to trade potential star, Clint Frazier.
Back in January, the Yankees were in talks with the Pirates to acquire pitcher Gerrit Cole for a package of prospects revolving around Clint Frazier. As we’re all aware, the Bucs eventually pulled out of negotiations because they felt Frazier wasn’t an elite enough talent to be the centerpiece of a potential deal.
Fast-forward five months, and it’s now Yankees general manager Brian Cashman who does not want to deal the much-matured 24-year-old outfielder, even if it is for an experienced starting pitcher. Per Mike Mazzeo of the NY Daily News:
"“We’re lucky to have him,” Cashman said of Frazier. “He’s getting better. He’s a toolbox that every year since we’ve gotten him he’s exponentially improved.”“We’d like to hold on to him,” Cashman said while suggesting there could very well be a more significant role for Frazier over time. “I know he’s someone that we’re going to get asked a lot about, and so far we’ve been able to say no and hand-check everything, but I’m a big Clint Frazier fan.More from Yankees NewsBaseball Reference proves Yankees’ Aaron Judge lives rent free in BostonYankees’ Clay Holmes trade just became even bigger disaster for PiratesMets stealing New York Post’s entire Yankees offseason plan is hilariousYankees add to championship core with Wilmer Difo signingAaron Judge’s ‘breadcrumbs’ showed he was never leaving Yankees, has more moves in mind"
Despite being shuttled between Scranton and the Bronx, it seems the Yankees are readying Frazier for a more significant role in 2019.
With aging left fielder Brett Gardner set for a $12.5 million team option or $2 million buyout, the club could keep their clubhouse leader in the fold and still deploy Frazier as their everyday left fielder since the luxury tax resets after this season.
As it stands, Frazier credits Gardner as a mentor, telling NJ.com that Gardy’s influence reaches far beyond the field.
"“It’s just conversations in general when him and I are having them and he’s helping me with maybe something I might have a question about. Gardy’s been huge to this team and huge to me and I think huge to a lot of the younger guys here just trying to get their feet set.”"
Because of Aaron Hicks’ hot and cold game, and Cashman’s affinity for the 28-year-old center fielder, it’s unlikely Hicks is going anywhere soon.
The one player that could challenge Hicks for center field supremacy is No. 1 prospect Estevan Florial. However, he is recovering from a broken right hamate bone, which will further delay his major league arrival (MLB Pipeline estimates a 2020 ETA, but that was before the injury that has limited him to 36 games this season).
Frazier, who has only recently announced his displeasure about being stuck in the minor leagues (Brandon Drury and Tyler Wade have done the same) has done nothing but produce on the field.
Not only is Frazier slashing .312/.389/.558 with 11 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 11 RBIs in 154 at-bats at Triple-A, but in just eight big league games, Red Thunder is 7-for-20 with two doubles while giving the Yanks a jolt of much-needed energy while Garnder was nursing a knee injury.
As if these aren’t trying times for the crown jewel of the 2016 Andrew Miller trade, Frazier was robbed of a potential game-winning home run on Sunday versus the Rays when he pinch hit for the struggling Neil Walker.
Tied at six in the top of the ninth inning, Frazier hit a towering fly ball towards left field of the ridiculous Tropicana Field. A transformed arena football stadium, the ball hit a large speaker attached to a catwalk in Ring B that clings to the signature slated roof.
With Ring B considered in-play, the ball fell to the field where it was caught by shortstop Adeiny Hechaverria for an out. The Yankees would lose 7-6 in 12 innings.
Statcast estimated that the ball, had it not struck the speaker, would have traveled an estimated 335 feet. The left field fence measures 315 feet. Right now, it seems like if it weren’t for bad luck, Frazier would have no luck at all.
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However, Frazier needs to stay focused because it’s apparent the Yankees do indeed have him in their future plans. They won’t trade him for a short-term rental or an aging arm. So unless a team like the Mets decide to deal Jacob deGrom or the Giants, Madison Bumgarner, we should expect Clint Frazier in the Bronx for the long haul.