Yankees Rumors: Could Clint Frazier be headed back to Cleveland?
For the time-being, Clint Frazier appears to be excess to the Yankees plans. With the Indians in need of a bat and reports of Trevor Bauer being on the market, the two teams could find a trade mutually beneficial.
With Giancarlo Stanton on the IL, the Yankees decided to call up light-hitting, but defensively inclined Mike Tauchman, leaving many to wonder why Clint Frazier, who is having an excellent offensive season in the Bronx, is being relegated to Triple-A Scranton.
The simplest explanation is that after missing most of last season with post-concussion symptoms, he needs more time away from the spotlight to refine his below average outfield play.
Other, more sinister beliefs stem around the Yankees not wanting to shine any more negative press on Frazier’s shoddy glove work. And instead, leave potential trade partners with the knowledge that Frazier’s bat is a major league ready, and other aspects of his game will eventually fall into place.
While a case can be made for both, the Yanks have already said they will not trade the 24-year-old Georgia-native for a rental piece — which would rule out the likes of free-agent-pitchers-to-be such as Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler.
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This season will likely be Brett Gardner’s final year in pinstripes — and with Giancarlo Stanton’s injured past flaring up, and no one genuinely knowing when No. 1 prospect Estevan Florial will arrive in the majors, Frazier could very well be the Yankees starting left-fielder — for at least the 2020 season.
However, should the Yanks decide now is the time to deal the talented, yet mercurial Frazier, they’ll need to get a starting pitcher under club control for at least two seasons (if not more).
Enter a potentially linked trade candidate to New York for almost an entire year — Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Arbitration-eligible through 2020, the 28-year-old Bauer could be just the type of firestarter the Yanks currently lack at the top of their rotation. According to multiple sources, the 48-38 Indians will trade the often uncensored former UCLA product.
James Rapien, an Indians reporter for 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland recently appeared on the Big-Time Baseball Podcast to say just that.
"“I don’t think it’s a matter of if Trevor Bauer gets traded, it’s when,” Rapien said."
Rapien would go on to say, should the Indians get an inclination that Corey Kluber will return from a broken forearm in August, as initially diagnosed, they’d be even more inclined to trade Bauer — otherwise, an offseason swap of assets is more likely.
Buster Olney of ESPN supported Rapien’s belief, stating that Cleveland should move Bauer for a bat to help them make a playoff push.
"The value for Bauer and Hand is not going to get higher than it is right now, so they should seriously weigh offers for both; my guess is they trade Bauer, not Hand, and get back at least one major-league ready youngster who can help them now."