Early Wednesday morning, just as clock passed 12:00 am, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox pulled off a 7-player blockbuster trade that showed just how shrewd the Yankees trade practices have been in recent years.
The Yankees, in dire need of bullpen help and production from 1st base, sent struggling reliever Tyler Clippard along with Top 30 prospect Blake Rutherford and other prospects including Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for 3rd baseman Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle who are both turning in career-years.
Not only do the Yankees gain some significant help for their recent bullpen ails and 1st base bat production woes, but they also get some stability.
Coupled with the fact that New York didn’t have to heavily dip into their uber-talented and deep pool of prospects to pull off a blockbuster deal this makes their trade with Chicago that much more impressive.
Flexibility is key as the Yankees can move Todd Frazier to 1st base to give that position more production. Although Frazier has struggled this season he is one year removed from a 40-homerun season and he has come on strong recently.
Frazier is also a rental as his contract expires at the end of this season. His arrival gives the Yankees flexibility at 3rd base with Chase Headley who has had a decent, not great season. The Yanks could shop Headley ahead of the deadline.
Robertson, 32, who is posting a 2.70 ERA and 4.3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31 appearances, returns to the Yankees where he spent several seasons and should significantly upgrade a shaky bullpen. Robertson is under contract through 2018.
Kahnle, 27, is tossing an impressive 2.50 ERA in 37 appearances at a 8.6 K/BB ratio. Kahnle’s contract is club controled through 2020.
The deal adds an additional layer of happiness for the Yanks as the Boston Red Sox were close to working out a deal to acquire both Robertson and Kahnle before New York came in and outbid them.
While Rutherford is a tough prospect to part with, the Yankees can rest assured that they gave up far less in this deal than they might have chasing the likes of Oakland’ Sonny Gray in what was another rumored blockbuster being negotiated.
That deal may still be being discussed but with the Yankees filling a hole at 1st base it may come down to just talking about Sonny Gray which could lower any asking price the A’s may have.