The Yankees made a move they had to make. At 48-44 the Yankees are 3.5 out of first place, and hold a 1.5 game lead on the Minnesota Twins for the last wild card slot. So if the Yankees want to have any shot at getting to the postseason this year, they had to make this move.
On Tuesday night, the Yankees acquired third baseman Todd Fraizer and relievers David Robertson Tommy Kahnle from the Chicago White Sox for reliever Tyler Clippard, 2016 first round pick Blake Rutherford, and minor leaguers Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo.
For the Yankees this move makes all the sense in the world. They are re-united with Roberston, who was the teams closer back in 2014 when he saved 39 games. He has spent the past two-and-a-half years as the White Sox closer. What makes this deal even better, is the Yankees have control of Robertson through next season at $ 13 million. He is going to slide nicely into that seventh inning role as the bridge to Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. So far this year, Robertson has been great, pitching to a 2.70 ERA and a WHIP of 0.90.
Considering how Clippard really struggled in that role this season, bringing back Robertson gives the Yankees a back-end of the bullpen that mirrors that of the Cleveland Indians last season. Time will tell.
And don't fall asleep on Kahnle who is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 37 appearances out of the Chi-Sox bullpen. Not to mention he is only 27 years old, which is a huge plus.
Finally the intriguing piece of this trade is Fraizer. A New Jersey kid, and a pending free agent. He is set to make $12 million this year. There has always been talk that Fraizer would one day play in New York because of his Jersey roots, and now that will happen. He is expected to see a lot of third and first base as needed, and platoon with Chase Headley.
While Fraizer has a history as a power bat, he has struggled this year, hitting only .207 in 280 at bats this year. Fraizer's 16 home runs and 44 RBI this year is on pace for career lows. Still this is a guy who hit 40 bombs just a year ago. While the Yankees would like to see the batting and on base percentage go up with Fraizer, if he has a solid second half, one could see the Yankees wanting to keep him beyond this year.
Either way, this was a move the Yankees had to make, and it was a good one.