Yankees Rumors: Is potential Adam Frazier trade fool’s gold?


Hey, have you guys heard? The New York Yankees need acquisitions at the trade deadline if they want to survive the 2021 season. Yes, that is the case, if the team continues to play like they’ve been across the first two-plus months of the year.

What do they need, exactly? At least without inducing a major shakeup? An outfielder, for sure. A starting pitcher? Depends on what happens with Corey Kluber. A lefty bat? Yup, it just depends where. A lefty outfield bat would be ideal.

But what about an infielder? Well, then what does that mean for one of Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu or Luke Voit? The Yankees won’t be looking for a third baseman, we can likely rule that out (though crazier things have happened), because first base, second base and shortstop are much bigger needs.

Will Torres’ struggles continue? If so, do the Yankees move to make a replacement? What about DJ? Will he continue to fail at the plate? Can Voit stay healthy after he returns from his latest oblique issue.

One potential high-end trade target that has recently emerged is Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Adam Frazier. Intriguing, one could say.

But where does he fit? And even if he does fit, is he fool’s gold?

Should the Yankees be eyeing Adam Frazier ahead of the trade deadline?

Do you see the fit here? There is “a” fit. He can play second base and left field. He can provide relief in a few ways while still being an everyday player, but of course it’ll complicate things once Voit returns.

You’d have to assume the Yankees don’t want to use him in left on a full-time basis. And it still doesn’t solve the center field problem, which will need to be taken care of with a direct, non-utility move.

In addition to this being a tertiary fit … do we really believe in Frazier? His start to 2021 has been awesome, but that’s been 55 games.

Let’s look at his previous campaigns with the Pirates:

  • 2016: 66 games, .301 batting average, .767 OPS, 105 OPS+, -4 DRS
  • 2017: 121 games, .276 batting average, . 743 OPS, 97 OPS+, -1 DRS
  • 2018: 113 games, .277 batting average, .798 OPS, 118 OPS+, 8 DRS
  • 2019: 152 games, .278 batting average, .753 OPS, 97 OPS+, 5 DRS
  • 2020: 58 games, .230 batting average, .661 OPS, 78 OPS+, 7 DRS

His defense is improving. His offense is consistent, but not exactly mind-blowing (though the Yankees don’t need that right now, they just need any help). But is this a player the Yankees want to pay a premium on? He’s the best hitting second baseman in the game right now … but the Yankees don’t need a second baseman. And a lot of the unsavory defensive metrics come from his time in the outfield. We know the Bombers don’t place an emphasis on defense, but why risk getting any worse?

Most fans hear the name Adam Frazier and don’t think All-Star. He’s withering away on the Pirates in his age-29 season and is under club control through 2022. If the Yankees had a gaping hole at second base, this would be the answer, because he seems to be progressing with each passing year. He’s not fool’s gold, but it’s hard to see how the Yankees could utilize him right now without making overarching changes to the roster.