The White Sox have traded infielder Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees for reliever Tyler Clippard and prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo, according to a club announcement. The deal was first reported by WSCR’s Bruce Levine.
Frazier was a healthy from Chicago’s lineup this evening, making many believe the ChiSox were on the verge of a trade. Both Frazier and Robertson were rumored to be targets of the Red Sox, but appear to be headed to their AL East archrival instead.
New York has been targeting help both at the corner infield spots and in the bullpen so far this summer, so this deal makes a whole lot of sense. Frazier is likely an option at first base for the Yankees, who just this week lost Greg Bird for the season due to ankle surgery after cutting Chris Carter. Robertson and Kahnle will join a relief group that already includes Adam Warren and Dellin Betances in front of closer Aroldis Chapman, with Robertson likely taking over as the setup man for Chapman and Betances shifting to a fireman-type role.
Frazier, a free agent after the season, was a lock to be dealt before the deadline despite hitting just .207/.328/.432 with 16 homers in 81 games so far this season. The 31-year old New Jersey native is owed about $5 million for the rest of this season before hitting the open market and has experience at both third and first base for Cincinnati and Chicago.
Robertson, who was nearly dealt to the Nationals before the season, returns to the Yankees, with whom he spent the first seven years of his career from 2008 to 2014. He signed a four-year deal with Chicago at the 2014 winter meetings, and is owed about $18 million before hitting free agency after next season. Robertson owns a 2.70 ERA while saving 13 games this season for the ChiSox.
Kahnle, who turns 28 next month, grew up in an Albany suburb and entered pro ball as a member of the Yankees’ organization when he was drafted by the club in 2010. He was selected by the Rockies in the 2015 Rule 5 draft, and owns a 2.50 ERA and 15.0 K/9 in 36 innings this year. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, giving New York three years of control after this one.
Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle join new Cub Jose Quintana as White Sox’ deadline casualties this season. With the trio headed to the Bronx, general manager Rick Hahn has unloaded six key pieces since declaring a sale at the winter meetings last December. He could still make more deals before the end of the month, with Melky Cabrera, Anthony Swarzak and Derek Holland remaining as fringe trade candidates.
Clippard, 32, has struggled to a 4.95 ERA in 40 appearances out of the Yankees’ pen this season after being acquired in a deadline trade with Arizona last season. The 11-year veteran’s inclusion in the deal is mostly for salary purposes, as Clippard is due about $2.5 million for the rest of this season.
Rutherford, a 20-year old outfielder, was the Yankees’ first-round pick (18th overall) last year and is the 36th-best prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America. He came in as the second-highest Yankees prospect (behind only Gleyber Torres) out of the club’s seven top 100 prospects.
Rutherford has hit .281/.342/.391 with two homers and nine steals in 71 games for Class-A Charleston this season.
Clarkin, a 22-year old lefty, was New York’s first-round pick (33rd overall) in the 2013 draft out of Madison High School in San Diego. He entered the season ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Yankees’ 19th-best prospect, since pitching to a 2.74 ERA and 7.1 K/9 in 72.1 innings as a starter for High-A Tampa.
Polo, a 22-year old outfielder, has split the year between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting .298/.358/.446 with five homers and 25 steals in 72 games. He was originally acquired by New York in the deal that sent Ivan Nova to the Pirates at last year’s deadline.
With Frazier gone, the White Sox have decided to recall top prospect Yoan Moncada from Triple-A Charlotte.