With the acquisition of Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, the New York Yankees are speeding up the process of becoming the perennial MLB powerhouses once again.
Todd Frazier is a terrific add for the Yankees, and is the definite centerpiece of the deal for New York. With elite power, the 31 year old is riding a 40 home run season with the White Sox last season, and while he’s had a down year, still boasts 17 bombs on the season and 44 runs batted in. Chase Headley will be booted across the diamond to first base to accommodate the trade, and it’s a definite upgrade for the Yankees in the hot corner. Headley is batting .257 with just four homers on the year, and it seems his prime is well past him now. Frazier on the other hand, despite being just two years younger, is still playing his best baseball. The only red flag for Frazier is his average. Despite keeping an OPS that flirts with .800, Frazier is batting just .207 this season, something that definitely needs some improvement. It’s been a common trend across the majors for a while now, teams don’t value one-dimensional power hitters as much as they used to. That being said, Frazier is a nice replacement for Headley at third and will be used to try and knock in the Bronx Bombers’ on base players such as Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Tommy Kahlne (pronounced Cain-Lee) is a solid middle reliever for the Yankees, only bolstering New York’s powerhouse bullpen even more. He’s been very good for the White Sox this season, sporting a 2.50 ERA and a WHIP of 0.97. It’s surprising the Yankees still went after more relief pitchers given that they already have Betances and Chapman, but I guess the more, the merrier. It also could be that the White Sox weren’t willing to do the trade unless they got Blake Rutherford, and the Yankees simply took on Robertson and Kahnle because it was the only other value they could get. That being said, the White Sox have a pair of Garcia’s that have been playing outstanding baseball this year, and I’m surprised that one of them wasn’t swapped in for one of the two relievers included in the deal.
And lastly, a former Yankee returns to the Bronx, David Robertson. Robertson, who was drafted by New York, broke into the league with the Yankees and spent seven seasons there, returns hoping to recapture the success he created back in 2011, when he was selected to the all-star game for the lone time. Robertson will assume the same role he had in 2011-2013 as one of the Yankees’ setup men alongside Dellin Betances. While Robertson was the closer for the White Sox and did serve as the Yankees closer for one season in 2014, there’s no way the Yankees relieve Aroldis Chapman from his duties. That being said, Chapman is very injury prone, so having Robertson and Betances as a backup plan isn’t a bad idea. Again, I don’t really see the need for the Yankees acquiring two more relievers when they already have two of the best in their bullpen, but it must’ve been the best return that Yankees GM Brian Cashman could’ve got in this deal when Rutherford had to be included in the deal for Frazier to happen, at least that’s how it plays out in my head.
The loss of top prospect Rutherford is a big hit for the future; but for the Yankees, the time to win is now. With Luis Severino turning the corner this season, Aaron Judge mashing the baseball, Gary Sanchez returning to his 2016 form, Clint Frazier looking promising, and of course that monster bullpen, the Yankees are scary. The addition of Todd Frazier and company make the Yankees favourites to finish atop the AL East and make a big push in the postseason. Chemistry could take a little while, and Yankees skipper Joe Girardi will have to find where Frazier works best in the line-up card, but with their current roster, it’s not hard to see the Yankees leapfrogging the Rays and Red Sox in the clustered AL East.
With a week and half remaining, the MLB Trade Deadline has already been very active, and it appears the shake-ups could continue right up until July 31st.