SUNDAY: Beyond just rental players, the Yankees also don’t want to deal Frazier for a pitcher who is only controlled through the 2020 season, as per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link). This would seemingly remove such popular trade candidates as Toronto’s Marcus Stroman or Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer from consideration in a potential Frazier deal, unless this is a case of the Yankees aiming as high as they can in initial trade talks.
FRIDAY: While the Yankees are willing to discuss young outfielder Clint Frazier in trade talks, Andy Martino of SNY.tv reports that they have no interest in sending him out for a rental player. At least, that’s the word the team is putting out to other organizations at the moment.
Frazier has become a popular topic of discussion in New York since his recent demotion to make way for just-acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion. Despite slashing a healthy .283/.330/.513 with 11 home runs in 209 plate appearances, Frazier was again dropped back to Triple-A.
It’s not clear that the talented 24-year-old has a path back to a significant role with the Yankees in the near term. With Aaron Judge set to return and Giancarlo Stanton already back in action, the roster is brimming with righty sluggers.
That’s not to say that the Yanks won’t value Frazier. Owner Hal Steinbrenner has spoken highly of the young slugger, though that’s hardly an assurance that Frazier is off limits. The organization is obviously aware of the value of maintaining depth, even if it seems like a bit of a luxury, and Frazier is optionable this season and next.
It still feels like an opportune moment to cash in Frazier, who has hit enough to hold plenty of appeal despite some highly visible defensive miscues and a dust-up with the media. Even if he’s allowed to cross the threshold to his second full year of MLB service, Frazier will be controllable for four more campaigns beyond the present.
Given all the countervailing considerations, the Yankees’ reported position on Frazier makes sense — at this stage of the proceedings, at least. This market’s top rental pieces are perhaps not of overwhelming enough quality to warrant such an outlay. Then again, we have seen even more controllable, higher-end talents shipped out for the right rental scenarios. (The Yanks were notable beneficiaries of just such a swap.) And it’s worth bearing in mind that a few organizations — the Giants, especially, though they could be joined by others — possess multiple intriguing trade assets that could conceivably be packaged together to boost the appeal to the Bronx Bombers. (There’s precedent for that kind of swap, as well.)