With the bolstering of the starting pitching unit and revival of several unhealthy players, New York Yankees outfielder, Clint Frazier, could find himself in limbo this season. The 2020 campaign is bound for success, especially if the team remains healthy, but an excess of players in the outfield could open up a potential trade scenario where they bolster the bullpen.
Frazier holds offensive value for the Bombers, but his defensive traits have been problematic in the past. With Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and Mike Tauchman all outfield options, Frazier will slot in as the 5th choice until Hicks returns, which will then thrust him down, potentially to the minor leagues.
Hicks is expected to make his return in August, and barring any injuries to the starters, Frazier will likely enjoy limited action. While the young maestro is a solid player with plenty of potential, he might never reach it with a stacked Yankees team, opening the door for a trade.
Could the New York Yankees flip Clint Frazier? Does it make sense?
Manager Aaron Boone and GM Brian Cashman might be able to flip Clint for a bullpen arm and after the departure of Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr., the Yankees could use the support. Relying on Adam Ottavino, Chad Green, and Zack Britton is the Yankees’ plan moving forward, as adding Gerrit Cole to be mix and a healthy Luis Severino should take some of the pressure off of the bullpen.
Alternatively, the Yanks do have Jordan Montgomery and J.A. Happ who can slot pitch in the later innings as well. Boone has expressed his confidence in Happ, stating that he will be the 5th starter ahead of the season. Monty will pitch out of the bullpen or will slide in as a back-end starter, compensating for fatigue.
“We’re extremely confident [in the rotation], especially our top four,” Cashman said YES Network’s “Hot Stove” program. “I do think that Happ is going to even be better for us than he was in the first half of last year. I think you’ll see more of the second-half Happ, so we look forward to him proving that with us in 2020.”
The $17 million the Yankees are dishing out to Happ must come back around in terms of value, considering they were unable to use him for the latter portion of 2019 due to a lack of effectiveness. Having too many starters is a good problem to have, and the Bombers can utilize them in the bullpen if need be.
However, the strength in pitching will ultimately help Frazier’s chances of staying put, despite his assume desire to play for a team where he can feature as a starting option.