The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, two teams heading in opposite directions, pulled off a trade that should help both sides during their respective timelines.
In a move to bolster their postseason push, the Yankees acquired infielder Todd Frazier and right-handed pitchers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson from Chicago, without having to dip too far into their promising farm system.
In return, Chicago picked up right-hander Tyler Clippard and three prospects – outfielder Blake Rutherford, left-hander Ian Clarkin and outfielder Tito Polo.
While New York pick up an infield bat in Frazier, who can play either third or first base – an area the Yankees have been weak in this season – and strengthen their bullpen, the White Sox add another young talent in Rutherford, who was a first-round pick in 2006 and is ranked as the No30 prospect in baseball by MLB.com.
The move has the potential to be a win-win for both teams, with the Yankees, who sit third in the American League East, vying for contention, and Chicago building for the future as they toil away at the bottom of the AL this year.
“It should tell [our players], ‘Hey, we’re in this,’” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We need to continue to play and play hard, and play better than what we’ve done. But it should be a pick-me-up in there that, hey, there’s a lot of people who believe in this club.”
Frazier, 31, should immediately upgrade New York’s offence, regardless of who moves across the diamond between him and incumbent third baseman Chase Headley.
Though Frazier’s batting average has dropped in each of the past three seasons and was at a paltry .207 at the time of the trade, his 16 home runs and 44 runs batted in are a significant improvement on the Yankees’ rotating cast of characters at first base.
The more impactful player in the trade, however, could be Kahnle. The 27-year-old flame-thrower boasts a 2.50 earned run average and 60 strikeouts in just 36.0 innings of work, making him another weapon out of a New York bullpen that already featured set-up man Dellin Betances and closer Aroldis Chapman.
Add in familiar face Robertson and the Yankees now have a dominant four-horse bullpen capable of dramatically shortening games.
For Chicago, they’ll now get a look at the top prospect in the majors, Yoan Moncada, after he was recalled from Triple-A and today and set to make his White Sox debut tonight.
At 22, Moncada will take over at second base and is expected to stick around to gain experience.
“We aren’t bringing him here to sit,” White Sox general manager Rick Han said of Moncada.
With Charlotte in Triple-A this year, Moncada hit .282 with 12 home runs, 36 RBIs, 57 runs scored and 17 stolen bases in 80 games.