Clint Frazier is a prominent name in trade rumors at the moment, but the talented outfielder still has a chance to stick with the Yankees.
Some Yankees fans may see Clint Frazier as a distant memory, but it’s only been a little over a month since the team banished him to AAA. Most fans assume he’ll be the centerpiece for a trade that will net the team a talented starting pitcher, but the truth is there’s a very good chance Frazier’s future is still in pinstripes.
Brian Cashman certainly hasn’t given up on the idea of Frazier being an important part of the Yankees major league roster. He recently gave the 24-year-old outfielder a phone call to discuss what the red-head might need to do to return to the majors. Frazier described the call as the “best conversation (he) could have had.” Predictably, Cashman instructed him to continue work on the defensive side of his game. His troubles in the outfield were the primary reason why the organization elected to send him back to the minors.
In all fairness, Cashman’s phone call to Frazier doesn’t rule out the possibility of a trade this month. If the Yankees are able to swing a big deal for a pitcher who can boost their rotation, Frazier will almost certainly be a part of the deal. However, there’s no certainty that Cashman will find a deal for a starting pitcher he likes. The prices for the current arms on the market are too high for the general manager’s liking.
Keeping Frazier in the fold also has significant value for the organization. Brett Gardner is enjoying a very productive season, but he’ll be a 36-year-old free agent when the offseason arrives. There are no guarantees that he’ll still be in the Bronx on Opening Day of the 2020 regular season.
Frazier doesn’t have the same positional versatility the team would like to have in a fourth outfielder, but he’s a much stronger offensive player than Gardner is at this point in their respective careers. Frazier was sporting a healthy slash line of .283/.330/.513 before he was sent back to the minors. At just 24 years of age, it’s reasonable to think that his best offensive days are still ahead of him. Any meaningful progression with his bat would make Frazier a borderline All-Star level hitter. That sort of player has value on any team, including the Yankees.
Yankees fans should expect to see Frazier’s name prominently mentioned in a ton of trade rumors over the next two weeks, but the organization hasn’t given up on his talent. If he does leave the organization this season, it will only be in a deal for a player who Cashman believes can help this team win a World Series this October.