2017 Fantasy Baseball: Yankees Acquire Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle
The White Sox pulled another blockbuster move on the heels of the Jose Quintana trade to bring in more prospects into the organization. They dealt away Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in exchange for veteran reliever Tyler Clippard and prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo.
Why the Yankees make this move
Even though Frazier is a third baseman by trade, he has played some first base and likely will land there once he goes to New York. While his .207/.328/.432 slash line doesn’t look great, but its pretty good in comparison with the Yankees overall .686 at the position. Plus, with his ability to play third he can also play for Chase Headley if he goes back into hibernation. While he is the headliner of the deal, the haul was not necessarily big because he will be a free agent following the season.
The coup of the deal were the additions of Robertson and Kahnle. Robertson was once like Dellin Betances where he would dominate the 7th and 8th inning before Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th. He has had some detractors since he moved to the 9th inning, but now he has the cover of moving to the 7th inning in the long term.
Kahnle is not a household name, but he was having a brilliant season in Chicago. He has struck out 15.0 hitters per nine innings and has a 2.50 ERA in middle relief. The various ERA estimators love him as they are all well under 2.00. He might end up being like another Betances and if that is the case then the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball going into the pennant drive.
Why the White Sox make this deal
They actually didn’t get as much as people would have thought, but they were also dealing a would be free agent in Frazier and an overpaid reliever in Robertson. Obviously, dealing Kahne was part of the price of getting rid of those other two. Accepting Tyler Clippard was also part of the pain. Clippard has been shaky of late as his ERA nears 5.00.
Rutherford rates as the 30th best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com (he is also in the top 50 according to Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus). He is obviously the prize of the deal and gives the White Sox their tenth player in the MLB.com top 100. He is only 20 years old, so his obvious physical skills outweigh the mediocre numbers. Scouts like his potential for considerable power once he fills out physically and adds loft to his swing.
Clarkin and Polo are not nearly as highly regarded. Clarkin ranked as the Yankees 19th best prospect according to MLB.com. They think he has four quality offerings (fastball, curve, slider, and change) but none are overpowering offerings. He has a ceiling as a mid rotation starter. Polo did not register in the Yankees top 30.
What this deal means for you
The good news is that Frazier moves to a contender where he can add some runs and RBI down the stretch. The bad news is that Robertson is no longer in line to get saves. Of course, the White Sox weren’t exactly a gold mine of save opportunities to begin with. Robertson and Kahnle are still good middle relief options that can put up dominating numbers in the other categories. Clippard might luck into some save opportunities himself, but he is a fringe fantasy prospect at best.