The word on the streets proclaims Clint Frazier to (once again) be the odd man out when the dynamic duo returns. We’re talking about a man’s career here…
In a very brief career, Clint Frazier has come to know there’s baseball and then there’s the business of baseball, and never the twain shall meet.
Since he was acquired in a trade on July 31, 2016 from the Cleveland Indians along with Justus Sheffield (now with the Seattle Mariners) in a deal that sent Andrew Miller to the Indians, Frazier has appeared in a total of 93 games for the New York Yankees.
This includes the 39 games Frazier has played this season, helping to ravage victory from despair due to injuries suffered by Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks. His numbers? Not too shabby – .270 BA, 10 homers, and 28 RBI.
And yet, when the dynamic duo of Judge and Stanton return to the Yankees (sooner rather than later), Clint Frazier appears to be the odd man out, destined for a return to Triple-A Scranton and from there, who knows?
Yankees: How Much Is Enough?
Which begs the question – for how long can the Yankees keep a quality player like Clint Frazier as an insurance policy against future injuries in their outfield? The current player’s contract with MLB owners says they can keep him for another three years (all arbitration eligible) until 2024 when Frazier will reach contractual free agent status.
At which time, Clint Frazier will be 28 years old. Not too old, but not necessarily young enough for one of those multi-year deals, the dream of every player, that will set him and his family up for life.
Dependant on merit, of course, which brings us to the main question – which is how can Frazier be expected to earn that contract if he plays in only 90 some games for the next three seasons?
To his credit, Frazier has played the role of the valiant Yankee warrior, but inside he has to be burning. He’s done everything the Yankees have asked him to, including mundane things like cutting his flaming red hair and toning down his divisive remarks in Spring Training about taking Brett Gardner‘s job away (kudos to Gardner for not fanning the flames).
Except for one thing. What is Brian Cashman supposed to do with the roster he will have when the regular Yankee’s outfield returns? Designate Brett Garder for assignment (DFA)? Don’t think so. Anything else anyone would like to venture?
Which brings us back to those ugly words – the business of baseball.
Clint Frazier: Yankees Number One Trade Chip
Rest assured, Brian Cashman is marking up that whiteboard in his office with possible trade scenarios come July. And he knows that Clint Frazier’s stock is as high as it’s ever been, especially considering his health and full recovery from those concussion symptoms that plagued his 2018 season.
Not being a mind reader, I’m assuming Clint Frazier would like to remain a Yankee. But when weighed against his (future) career, he’s a likely candidate to be walking into Cashman’s office begging for a trade that ensures a starting job in somebody’s outfield, or as a DH with an American League team.
For Cashman and the Yankees, Frazier represents a prize chip in a deal for a starting pitcher. Add a prospect or two and the Yankees have their “most wanted” need. If exercised, this can be one of those elusive win-win deals for both sides.
Finding the team and the pitcher? I’m not going there. That’s why they pay Brian Cashman the big bucks. From the fan side of things though, trading Frazier is the “right” thing to do. Or, will this end up being Clint Frazier: A Story Of A Career Going Nowhere?
Even better, how about delving in there, Brian, and trading Stanton instead?