The New York Yankees have already made the most difficult decision of the 2020 off-season in signing start pitcher of Gerrit Cole. There’s plenty of action still left to be executed for general manager Brian Cashman, and outfielder Clint Frazier could be a centerpiece in a potential trade.
The Yankees have been looking into Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, and parting with some young pieces could be necessary for a theoretical deal.
It all boils down to the value Frazier holds, after a rocky 2019 campaign that saw positive trends regarding offense but a downward spiral with his defense. At 25 years old, Frazier has plenty of potentials he has yet to tap into; a .267 batting average with 12 homers certainly helps his case.
Yankees’ Cashman commented on Frazier’s value, per the NY Post:
“Obviously he had some positives, some negatives,” the Yankees’ general manager told The Post on Wednesday at the meetings. “The positives really are he was a dynamic offensive force for us in the first half, especially with injuries. It helped allow that 103-win team to flow and survive.
“The negatives were obviously the defensive stuff. He took a step backwards. He’s capable of a lot more. It was a growing season for him, obviously between fighting with the press and all that stuff. But when the dust settles, he can look back and point to a lot of things that he now is even more certain he’s capable of and he also knows there’s certain areas that he’s got to get better at and he’s committed to do so.
After an inconsistent 2019, some believe “Red Thunder” can’t be the centerpiece of a deal for a capable starter. Last season, Frazier played a pivotal role before the All-Star break, supplementing the injuries to several starters in the outfield, including Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. However, his regression defensively hurt his confidence as he was visibly upset after committing several errors in a game against the Red Sox on June 2. He refused to apologize for his lack of accountability and was subsequently designated for assignment in AAA with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
His emotional outburst did not help his chances of making a return to the Yankees’ top squad. Still, as Cashman stated, Frazier has plenty of value and could very well develop into a regular starter in the future. With Aaron hicks set to miss 8–10 months after Tommy John surgery, they could need his services next season, despite re-signing Brett Gardner to a one year deal with a second-year option.
It is possible the Yankees could utilize the 25-year-old in a deal, especially if they are considering Hader as a replacement for Dellin Betances. Without giving up too many quality youth prospects, Frazier could fit the bill perfectly in this scenario.