New York Yankees make moves: Goodbye “Red Thunder”

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier
May 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) reacts during an at bat against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees made several roster moves on Friday, some surprising, some not. After a few years of up and down promise the Yankees designated Clint Frazier for assignment. Also hitting the assignment block was Rougned Odor, and surprisingly utility player Tyler Wade. All of these moves were made necessary to protect players from next month’s Rule 5 draft.

Any fan that’s been following Clint Frazier’s career is likely not surprised that the red haired outfielder and the Yankees  are parting ways. He was always praised for his excellent bat speed, but never reached his potential behind the plate. His defense in the outfield was up and down at best, seemingly brilliant at times but more often than not deficient.

In the shortened 2020 season, Frazier hit .267 matching his career high batting average, and due to a few spectacular plays in the field even got nominated for a Gold Glove Award. But then came 2021, when he played in only 66 games, his last on June 30. Mysterious illnesses sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Vision problems and dizziness even cut short a rehab assignment in August. Many analysts think he my never play ball again. After five failed seasons when he never played more that 69 games a season, the Yankees have given up on the young man.

Rougned Odor came over from the Rangers just before Opening Day last season, with Texas picking up his entire salary. Although he added some spark to the clubhouse, apparently the New York Yankees thought he was not good enough to be offered a 2022 salary.

The biggest surprise of the three moves is the Yankees parting ways with Tyler Wade, especially after a season that saw him play in 103 games last season, providing some of the best speed and base stealing qualities. Wade has been with the Yankees five years and had a batting average high of .268 last season. He is noted as one of the best utility players playing both in the infield and outfield. He will surely be picked up quickly by another team that needs that versatility.

In other moves the Yankees added infielder Oswaldo Cabrera, outfielder Everson Pereira, right-handers Ron Marinaccio, Stephen Ridings and lefty JP Sears to the 40-man roster. They also traded Nick Nelson and Donny Sands to the Phillies in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers. Nelson was a big disappointment relieving for the Yankees last season.

The 40-man roster addition of  Cabrera is intriguing and may give a hint to the 2022 Yankee infield. he is 22 and spent most of 2021 at Double-A Somerset, where he played second base, third and shortstop before he was moved up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He hit well and showed some power from both sides of the plate.




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