Clint Frazier showed off his talent last year for the New York Yankees but does he now find himself as a trade chip at the deadline?
By now, you should be aware that Clint Frazier was the gold chip in the Andrew Miller trade. However, with a crowded outfield, it is starting to look like Justus Sheffield who was also acquired in that trade could prove more valuable.
Frazier is currently recovering from a concussion and has started playing in minor league games. Soon enough he’ll be ready to play in the bigs again but does he have a spot? I see a couple ways in which Clint Frazier cracks this lineup but how likely are they to happen?
For Clint Frazier to fit in right now, the Yankees would have to take a leap of faith and have him replace Aaron Hicks. The problem is, Hicks is valuable despite his current regression at the plate, due in part to being a true centerfielder.
So how about Brett Gardner? Not a chance. Gardy is this teams leadoff guy and despite current struggles, is still making pitchers work as he is seeing 4.35 pitches per plate appearance. The Yankees will be patient with Gardy, as they should.
The reality is this: there is no room for Giancarlo Stanton to be an outfielder on this team right now, so can there really be room for Clint Frazier?
Brett Gardner is a free agent at the end of this season while Aaron Hicks is a free agent in 2020. In my opinion, the next two years will be Frazier’s best chance at fitting in. He is going to need to heat up in Scranton and make it hard for the Yankees to not include him in their future plans.
What do I see as most likely? I see Clint, the fifth overall pick in 2013, being the Yankees biggest trade asset when the deadline approaches. I also see a front office who will trade him for the right “win now” type of offer, especially if they deem it necessary to acquire a pitcher.
After all, in addition to the piece(s) the Yankees get in return for Clint, Brian Cashman can still chalk that 2016 trade up as a win, as long as Justus Sheffield pans out.
If I am Cashman, I would be sure to include Clint Frazier’s walk-off home run in the Bronx last July in all trade communications. That bat speed is silly.