Last night, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox agreed to a trade which sent 3B Todd Frazier, RP David Robertson, and RP Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for RP Tyler Clippard and prospects LHP Ian Clarkin, OF Blake Rutherford, and OF Tito Polo.
In this trade, I think that the Yankees were most interested in acquiring the relief pitchers, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, both of whom have been quite good this season. They acquired Frazier as an additional piece in the deal, most likely with the goal of keeping the Red Sox from getting him. Frazier could serve a purpose for the Yankees, he can play first base and their third base situation hasn’t been great either, but I think the biggest reason they wanted Frazier was to ensure he didn’t end up in Boston. This trade was very smart for the Yankees because they were having a lot of problems with their bullpen and this trade should help with that. It also helps that Robertson is under contract for next season and Kahnle has three years of arbitration left before reaching free agency. This move helps them now and in the future and I don’t think that they are quite done with trades for the season. They also didn’t have to give up too much in this trade and the Yankees have plenty of prospect depth from which to trade.
The White Sox continue to make smart moves in regards to their roster. Moving Robertson and Frazier were key for them since neither serve much purpose for the future of the team. The same goes for Kahnle despite being only 27 years old. Relief pitchers are generally easy to find. I think that the trade package they got in return was a pretty decent one, with the most valuable piece being Blake Rutherford. Rutherford was a top 50 prospect in baseball entering the season and was playing in A ball before the trade and hitting quite well. He isn’t a power but does get on base at a consistent clip and hits a lot of doubles. He should develop into one of Chicago’s core outfielders in the future. The other two prospects are depth prospects who could develop into major leaguers but no necessarily stars. Both Polo and Clarkin were in High A before the trade and both have performed well so far this season, Polo with a .289/.346/.434 slashline and Clarkin with a 2.85 ERA in 75.2 innings. The White Sox also got veteran reliever Tyler Clippard, who will go into their bullpen for the remainder of the season and just give them an arm. I’m surprised that they were unable to get a bigger package of prospects in return for the level of talent they traded, but I think the Rutherford inclusion was key to this deal. The White Sox continue to add to their elite farm system, which will give them the ability to trade for major league talent when they are ready to compete in the future.
*All stats and information came from ESPN, Baseball-Reference, and Spotrac