New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox Agree on a Trade Featuring David Robertson and Todd Frazier

by Rocco Constantino | Posted on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
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CBS Chicago is reporting that the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox  have agreed to get together for a blockbuster trade with the Yankees acquiring All-Stars Todd Frazier and David Robertson along with reliever Tommy Kahnle for Blake Rutherford, Tyler Clippard and Ian Clarkin.  Frazier, a New Jersey native, has been hot lately, belting 12 home runs in his past 46 games after starting the season slow.  The move instantly bolsters the Yankees bullpen, fills a hole in the corner infield and adds another power bat to the lineup.

Earlier in the night, rumors spread that the Boston Red Sox were in deep talks with the White Sox regarding Frazier, but those rumors shifted around 10:30 P.M. that a deal was now imminent with the Yankees.

The 31-year-old Frazier has experience at first and third base, two of the most glaring holes in the Yankees lineup.  Although Frazier is batting just .207 this year, he has an .818 OPS against lefties.  With Chase Headley struggling mightily against lefties (and overall in general), Frazier’s ability to play both corners gives Joe Girardi some lineup flexibility.  Frazier has a career .247 batting average with 164 home runs over his seven-year career.

In addition to Frazier, the acquisition of Robertson marks a reunion between the reliever and the team who drafted him in 2006.  Robertson debuted for the Yankees in 2008 as a 23-year-old and made his only All-Star Game appearance in 2011.  That year, working as a middle reliever, Robertson pitched in 70 games and posted a 1.84 ERA.  He finished 11th in Cy Young Award voting that year and 22nd in the MVP voting.  He left the Yankees after the 2014 as a free agent and signed with the White Sox.  In a little over three seasons with the White Sox, Robertson recorded 84 saves while pitching to a 3.28 ERA.  This year, the righty converted 13 saves and opponents are batting just .176 against him.

Kahnle also has ties to the Yankees organization, although he never has worn the pinstripes in the major leagues.  He was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the draft out of Lynn University.  He was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft in 2013 and has been in the majors for the most part since then.  The hard-throwing Kahnle gives the Yankees another fearsome arm in the bullpen and if Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances can right themselves, it gives the Yankees multiple power arm options out of the pen.

This year, Kahnle has 60 strikeouts in 37 innings, an eye-popping 15 strikeouts per nine innings.  For his career, Kahnle has averaged 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.  He has posted a career-best 2.50 ERA this season and righties are batting just .165 against him this year.

Going back to the White Sox are Rutherford, Clippard and Clarkin.  Rutherford is the prize chip in the deal for the White Sox.  He was ranked as the number three prospect in the Yankees farm system and was the 18th draft pick in the first round last year.  Just 20 years old, Rutherford was batting .281 with two home runs in Single A this season.  Last year, he batted .351 with three home runs across 33 games while playing rookie ball.

Clarkin, a left-handed pitcher was also a first round draft pick, number 33 overall in 2013.  While working as a starter, Clarkin has gone 14-18 with a 3.24 ERA over four minor league seasons.  He was currently on the roster of the A+ level Tampa Yankees.  Clarkin and Rutherford were both selected out of high school.

Clippard has been awful this season for the Yankees and was likely part of the deal to offset some of the salary costs of Frazier and Robertson.  He has pitched to a 4.95 ERA and 1.294 WHIP in 40 games this season.  He has given up seven home runs in 36.1 innings this season.  The White Sox will be the sixth team Clippard has played for over 11 seasons.

In acquiring Kahnle, Robertson and Frazier, the Yankees not only fill a number of their own holes, but also prevent the Boston Red Sox from doing so.  The Red Sox are actively shopping for a third basemen and relief help and had been tied to Frazier in rumors.

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Rocco Constantino
About the Author

Rocco is the author of 50 Moments That Defined Major League Baseball (Available on Amazon now!) and former Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He is also a die hard Mets fan going back to the awful early 80's and ready for the revival. D2 NCAA softball coach and athletics administrator. Follow Rocco on Twitter @mlb100years.

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