The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox pulled off a major blockbuster trade on Tuesday as the White Sox sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.
This is a good trade for the Yankees specifically with the acquisition of 3rd baseman Todd Frazier. The Yankees now have one of the deepest lineups in the MLB and this move will allow the Yankees to move Chase Headley from 3rd base to 1st base since that position has had terrible production this season. Frazier is only hitting .206 this season, but he is still a good power hitter as he has 16 home runs. Also, Frazier is still a solid defensive player at 3rd base and he is the type of player that will help the Yankees out in a variety of ways. The Yankees also made major upgrades to their bullpen in this trade by acquiring relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. Robertson was the closer for the White Sox this season and he did well in that role as he had a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves. However, he won’t be the closer for the Yankees as New York has Aroldis Chapman as their closer and they also have quality setup man Dellin Betances in their bullpen. Robertson will likely be the 8th inning guy for New York and he will make their bullpen elite as the team now has 3 terrific late-inning options. Tommy Kahnle will add even more to the Yankees bullpen as he had a 2.43 ERA this season for the White Sox. Kahnle is an outstanding middle relief option for the Yankees and he will help add some quality depth to the bullpen. The Yankees did give up 2016 1st round pick Blake Rutherford and quality pitching prospect Ian Clarkin. However, this is a trade that makes the Yankees better immediately and it was a good trade for New York to try and make a push for a playoff spot.
White Sox analysis/grade:
It probably wasn’t easy for the White Sox to trade away all-star caliber players Todd Frazier and David Robertson. However, it was a deal that they had to make as they look to rebuild their roster and compete in a couple of years. Frazier was a free agent after the season and the team would have lost him for nothing. Also, Robertson is a free agent after the 2018 season and he is already 32 years old, so it wouldn’t make much sense to keep him around. Meanwhile, the White Sox are getting 3 good young prospects in this deal including outfielder Blake Rutherford who was the Yankees 1st round pick in 2016. Rutherford is a good all-around player as he is a solid defender and he also is an above average hitter. He has hit .302 so far in 104 career minor league games, but don’t expect much power from him as he only has 5 career home runs. If he can ever develop more power then he could be a very good MLB starter. Either way, he is still a good hitter and fielder which means he projects well as a decent starting outfielder at the MLB level. The White Sox also acquired another talented young prospect with left-handed starting pitcher Ian Clarkin who was a 1st round pick of the Yankees in 2013. Clarkin was the 19th best prospect in the Yankees minor league system according to MLB.com. He hasn’t made it past Class A yet in his career despite being 22 years old. However, injuries have stalled his career a little bit as he missed the entire 2015 season with elbow inflammation and he missed some of last season after having knee surgery. Clarkin has a good 3.19 ERA so far in his minor league career and he should continue to move up the White Sox minor league system as long as he can stay healthy. Chicago also acquired another interesting prospect with 22-year old outfielder Tito Polo who was signed originally by Pittsburgh in 2012. Polo has since continued to impress since being traded to the Yankees in 2016 as he hit .302 with 12 home runs for the Yankees High-A team. He recently was promoted to Double-A and he has been even better at that level as he is hitting .382 with 17 RBI’s in just 14 games. Polo isn’t a highly ranked prospect, but if he can continue to hit like he has the past couple of years then he might make it to the MLB in a couple of years. Finally, Chicago also received one major league player in this trade as they acquired Tyler Clippard from the Yankees. Clippard has been terrible this season as he has a 4.95 ERA, but he is expected to be the White Sox new closer for the rest of the season after the team traded away David Robertson in this deal. Clippard is just a temporary solution for the White Sox in their bullpen as he is a free agent after the season and the team likely won’t re-sign him since he turns 33 years old prior to next season. This is a good trade for the White Sox as they are continuing their fast rebuild by acquiring 3 quality young prospects.