Wednesday, July 19, 2017

MLB trade review: Yankees acquire trio of White Sox



            After a blockbuster trade including RF J.D. Martinez earlier today, we have another blockbuster trade in the MLB. This time it's the Chicago White Sox (again) and the New York Yankees making headlines. Three White Sox with good value in 1B/3B Todd Frazier and RPs David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle are heading to the Bronx, and prospects Blake Rutherford (OF), Ian Clarkin, reliever Tyler Clippard and CF Tito Polo are headed to the "ChiSox".

             With 1B Greg Bird out for a while, the Yanks have been looking for a first baseman. They've tested with Chris Carter, Tyler Austin, Ji-Man Choi, Garrett Cooper and many more, but no one has been really successful. Bird should be good to go for 2018, so the Yanks have been looking for rentals like Lucas Duda (Mets) and Yonder Alonso (A's). Frazier is also a possible rental. He's mostly a third baseman, but has experience at first base. Him or current third baseman Chase Headley could play first. The bullpen has struggled lately, and getting two old friends that have been successful in Chicago helps. Robertson was drafted by the Yanks in 2006, and played his first seven MLB seasons with them. Kahnle was drafted by them in 2010, but was picked up by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 Rule 5 draft. Both could fit in well. They Yanks already have Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances and Chad Green in their bullpen, but all three have struggled lately. If they can get going, the Yanks will probably have the best bullpen in the MLB.

             Kahnle, 27, has a 2.50 ERA in 36 innings this year. In those 36 innings he has 60 strikeouts! That's a K/9 of 15! In his four year MLB career, Kahnle has a 3.70 ERA with 187 strikeouts in 165.1 innings for the White Sox and Colorado Rockies.

              Robertson, 32, has a 2.70 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 saves in 33.1 innings in 2017. In his 10 year MLB career, Robertson has an ERA of 2.95, 732 strikeouts and 131 saves in 552.1 innings for the White Sox and Yankees.

              Frazier, 31, has a .207 batting average, 16 homers, 44 RBIs and four steals in 335 Plate Appearances this year. In his seven year MLB career for the White Sox and Cincinnati Reds, Frazier has a .247 batting average, 164 home runs, 466 RBIs and 62 stolen bases in 3525 Plate Appearances.

              The White Sox are sellers. In this trade, they give up three names that have been rumored to be on the trade market for months.  They get two good prospects in Rutherford and Clarkin. The White Sox need rotation help after trading Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. Clarkin can help their rotation in the future. After trading CF Adam Eaton in the offseason, the White Sox need a center fielder for the future. Luis Robert is in their organization, so they now have two big outfield prospects in Rutherford and Robert. Polo isn't a big prospect, but still has a change at the big leagues. They also get a reliever in Clippard to replace the two relievers they gave up.

              Clippard, 32, has a 4.95 ERA with 42 strikeouts and one save in 36.1 innings this year. In his 11 year MLB career, Clippard has a 3.05 ERA. He has 726 strikeouts and 57 saves in 661.1 innings. He's played for the Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals in his career.

               Clarkin, 22, has a 2.74 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 72.1 innings this year for the Tampa Yankees (High-A). In his minor league career, he has a 3.20 ERA with 208 strikeouts in 250.1 innings. Clarkin was drafted in the first round (33rd overall) in 2013. Clarkin isn't a top 100 prospect, but was the Yankees 19th overall prospect.

                Rutherford, 20, is in his first year in single-A Charleston. He has a .281 batting average, two HRs, 30 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 304 Plate Appearances this year. The Yankees drafted him in the first round, 18th overall in 2016. According to MLB pipeline, Rutherford was the Yankees 3rd best prospect, and is the 30th best prospect overall.

                Polo, 22, has slashed .298/.358/.446 with five home runs 36 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 316 Plate Appearances between Tampa (High-A) and Trenton (Double-A). The speedy Polo was acquired from Pittsburgh for starter Ivan Nova last season. He was the starting center fielder for team Colombia in the 2017 WBC.
                          
               I think the Yankees win this trade. They get three quality players in Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle, and don't give up too much, even though Rutherford and Clarkin are good prospects. Polo isn't a big prospect, so they can afford trading him. Clippard has been struggling this year, and Kahnle and Robertson are both way better than Clippard. That's why they win this deal.

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