Yankees releasing Clint Frazier shows how bad they are at managing assets


Clint Frazier is no longer a New York Yankee. After being designated for assignment last Friday, the former top prospect was officially released on Tuesday. It wasn’t to anybody’s surprise, but it does remind us of an ongoing problem with this organization.

Whether Frazier was a prized asset or not is a discussion for another time. Cue the fake Frazier/Miguel Andújar trade proposals from rival fans who are desperately trying to find a funny angle to rip the Yankees, even though New York fans haven’t even dreamt of these guys being included in a package for any player of note since 2019.

Can’t make those jokes anymore! Sorry guys!

Anyway, the bigger issue at hand here is the front office managing assets. We discussed this with Tyler Wade, who was also DFA’ed on Friday and then traded to the LA Angels. Wade just had his best season as a pro and was traded for nothing … and this was after the Yankees stuck with him for four bad seasons.

And now here we are with Frazier, who was jerked around in 2019 despite showing plenty of promise. The Yankees sent him back down to Triple-A almost every opportunity they got even though Frazier was proving to be some sort of spark on one of the league’s best offenses.

Then came the shortened 2020, which was a career year for Frazier. The Yankees named him the starting left fielder for 2021 … but brought back Brett Gardner, which meant Frazier would be the “starting left fielder” and then be subbed out when Aaron Boone felt necessary, just like what happened during the 2020 playoffs when Gardy took playing time away from the young slugger.

Clint Frazier’s release once again shows how bad the Yankees are at managing assets.

It constantly feels like the Yankees’ front office is mismanaging … everything. From Aaron Hicks’ ridiculous premature contract extension, to out-bidding themselves for Gerrit Cole, to the dormant talks with Aaron Judge, to the failed attempts to trade capable players the team already determined they wouldn’t make part of their future plans, we just don’t know what’s going on here.

To put it nicely, Frazier’s time in the Bronx was constantly surrounded by drama, and the Yankees do not like that. We’d rather not go through it because we are wishing him the best as he explores a new chapter in his career, but fans with their finger on the pulse knew the team was never providing a clear path for him and was ready to pull the plug the moment things went sour … and then they took TOO LONG to do that in 2021 when he was statistically one of the SIX WORST players in all of baseball once the calendar turned to July.

The Yankees had so many opportunities to trade Frazier for something. OK, the Gerrit Cole-Pirates trade went sour. Fine. This team needed a little bit of everything over the last few years, whether it was a capable shortstop, reliable bench pieces, starters, relievers, you name it. If Mike Tauchman netted someone like Wandy Peralta, what could Frazier have returned when he had well above-average OPS+ numbers in 2019 and 2020? Again … because the Yankees weren’t 100% sold on his abilities and were always going to have Gardner waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces when things took a turn for the worse.

Frazier was constantly having to prove himself despite doing so (at least with his bat) for over 100 straight games. The Yankees let a delicate asset wither away to nothing and didn’t even utilize it properly for themselves. Frazier’s tenure in the Bronx was disappointing enough, but the Yankees really made it unbearable with the way they handled the 27-year-old.