Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman? Absolutely! But with performance and injury issues coupled with contract pile-ups, is anybody buying?
Beyond those two, the Yankees are left to sift through theoretically important pieces of their future, as well as players at the upper levels of their system who have turned into beyond-repair wreckage in recent months.
Fun. Definitely fun.
Considering the entire Yankees’ season has been based on high-pedigree players at the upper levels of the minors (and majors!) regressing unpredictably, the most difficult part about assembling this list was whittling it down to just three names.
With all due respect to Gleyber Torres, though, it was going to take either a massive and definitive regression OR a full-on public screaming match with the team’s front office for him to have to switch cities come August, and neither one of those things happened. Though we’re still not entirely sure what’s plaguing Torres, he hit two homers over the weekend against Boston (and three of his five dingers on the year have come against the Sox!), and seems to be in the midst of his second streak of solid contact this season. He’s not going anywhere.
The other three, though? They could all find themselves on the move, though not a man will bring home anywhere near the return they were supposed to.
At the start of 2021, this was conservatively a list of two All-Stars, plus one bat-first near-Rookie of the Year waiting to be unleashed. Now? You could convince us there isn’t a single major-leaguer in the lot. Now that’s how you tank your own trade value.
These 3 Yankees assets are regressing majorly by the trade deadline.
3. Clint Frazier
Yankees expert blogger Mike Axisa speculated on Tuesday that Frazier’s recent absence is less about dizziness and more about keeping him both out of sight and out of mind.
Based on the way the team has treated him even at his best and brightest, it’s hard to disagree.
Brian Cashman’s apparent negative opinion of Frazier already did plenty to lower the ceiling on any potential trades, but 2021’s value shift has taken the cake considering the 2020 Gold Glove finalist has been one of the worst regular outfielders — nay, players — in all of baseball.
Recently exiled from the team while battling vertigo/vertigo-like symptoms, Frazier hasn’t had a chance to improve upon his early-season numbers, where he racked up a wRC+ of 83, ranking him 108th of all outfielders with over 100 plate appearances — though he’s above fellow Yankees luminaries like Brett Gardner, Mike Tauchman, Aaron Hicks, and the next fellow on this list! “Want the 108th-best outfielder in baseball, only in terms of his offense?” has never been a wonderful selling point, though.
No more ink needs to be spilled on the intense disappointment of what Frazier brought to the table this season, but when the campaign began, he’d been given the starting left-fielder role coming off his first starring season in MLB. Like we said earlier, he was actually a Gold Glove finalist. Not only could the team have sold high this offseason if they didn’t particularly feel Frazier was a fit, but they could’ve sold at his absolute highest.
Now? Things look bleak. Frazier is in a category with several other Yankees who remain largely unwanted by the general populous. He’s taken a depressing nosedive, and the front office has their own disregarded instincts to blame.