As we continue into this COVID-19 world, it seems a little disingenuous to talk about the start to the New York Yankees season, when it’s not 100% clear if it will come before or after Memorial Day. But you gotta just look at what’s happening and say “The world is telling you, Cash, you got to make a decision about Clint Frazier.”
The Injuries That Helped Him Now Erased
If everything from MLB is to be believed at this point, there will be a couple of Spring Training games to get the players ready for the (ultimately) truncated 2020 season. We’re still a week away from April, with no real clear sight that the fluid restart to NBA, NHL, MLS, and MLB action is coming soon. So all it means is that Clint Frazier will, once again, start the baseball season in the minors.
Stanton had a minor calf strain. Well, maybe not minor, but the least severe calf strain you could get. He was going to be ready by mid-April at the latest. Judge needs time for his lung and rib to heal. Well… he certainly has that in spades right now. With Gardner, Tauchman, Wade, and Andujar rounding out the depth in the outfield for the 26 man roster, the only question is just how slow it’ll take Judge to even begin working out again in the gym. Once we get that answer, Frazier won’t see the show again barring more injuries to Stanton and Judge. Gardner’s getting older, so he could see some time on the IL this season. But it’ll take 2 injuries to get Frazier some at-bats in the Bronx. And right now, that can’t be expected until June-August.
He’s Running Out of Options
He’s nearing the point where the New York Yankees will no longer be able to just call him up and send him back to the minors at will. He’ll need to be Designated for Assignment, then clear waivers. While his defense is still suspect, an AL team would jump at the chance to claim Frazier. Which makes moving him as the central piece in a trade all the more difficult for Brian Cashman. In the minor’s, he didn’t make the necessary improvements he needed in 2019 to show the big club his fielding blunders in 2019 were just a fluke. He also has some difficulty staying healthy. The time he missed due to concussion will give some teams pause as well when being offered a trade for Frazier.
I’ve said it before to my friends, and I’ll say it to you all today: If the Yankees had faith at all in Frazier’s defensive abilities, they’d have let Gardner walk in the offseason, and wouldn’t be training Andujar to be an outfielder. If 2020 isn’t going to feature Clint Frazier at all on the big club, Cashman needs to get the best offer he can for him, before they lose him to waivers.