2. The Fresh Start: Clint Frazier and Prospect for Cristian Pache
At the end of 2020, Clint Frazier was the Yankees’ Gold Glove-nominated starting left fielder. Cristian Pache was the Braves’ next Acuña, able to display his electric bat unexpectedly during the team’s postseason run.
Now? Some significant shine is off Pache, and Frazier seems like someone who just … needs to go home again.
If we could choose a destination for the Georgia-born outfielder to revive his career, it would certainly be in Atlanta, but the vertigo (?)-suffering slugger is still not a match for the recently-demoted Pache, who’s just 22 (and coming off hitting .111 in 22 MLB games this season, followed by .250 at Triple-A Gwinnett).
In order to bank on Pache’s potential bounce back, the Yanks will have to attach some pedigree to their fallen slugger — and it wouldn’t hurt if that ammunition came from the 40-man. Pitchers Yoendrys Gomez and Alex Vizcaino seem like prime candidates (ranked eighth and ninth on MLB Pipeline’s prospect list), and you can’t count out a Rule-5 eligible talent who isn’t yet on the 40-man being included, too. This might go three deep, but the Yankees would be wise to select only from players who need protection this offseason — hence Miguel Yajure moving for Jameson Taillon, for example.
Pache has less pedigree than Taillon, but also isn’t attempting to come back from anything nearly as intimidating (though one could say regression and unfulfilled potential are even less predictable than injury recovery). That Pirates trade was costly. This one might be, too, but the Yanks should still entertain it.