Clint Frazier. (Photo: Getty Images)
Clint Frazier, one of the "B Bombers" that has helped keep the New York Yankees sitting pretty atop the American League East, continues to show his worth to the organization and the rest of a seemingly interest MLB.
The 24-year-old has taken full advantage of the slew of injuries that befell the Yankees this season. New York saw all three of its starting outfielders go down at points this season in Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. Both Judge and Stanton are inching their way back to the big leagues.
Frazier has helped cushion the loss of the big boppers by slashing .268/.300/.518 with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 31 games before Wednesday night's tilt against the Baltimore Orioles.
It's further confirmation that Frazier can consistently produce in the majors, which was a reason why he was so highly touted during the developmental stages of his minor-league career.
The production is even further appreciated considering his career was called into question at times last year after suffering multiple setbacks from a concussion.
However, Frazier's continued emergence is only going to lessen his chances of remaining a Yankee.
Once Judge and Stanton return, Frazier becomes expendable, making him a top-tier trade target given his age. His name had cropped up in trade talks dating back to last summer and throughout the offseason.
It looks like teams are doing their due diligence as scouts from the San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates were at Tuesday night's game against the Orioles. They were treated to a show as Frazier hit a pair of home runs with five RBI in the 11-4 win.
There is little doubt that the Yankees are going to be pursuing top-end pitching talent this summer and Frazier could quickly become the centerpiece of such a deal. While Masahiro Tanaka is expected back shortly, James Paxton and Luis Severino remain on the shelf with injuries while JA Happ continues to struggle with inconsistencies and the long ball.
Domingo German has stepped up in ways no one expected him to, becoming an early AL Cy Young candidate. However, a true, top-two starter with a proven track record will be vital for the Yankees' long-term rotational success.
At surface level, the Giants' presence at Yankee Stadium offers the dream of getting a crack at San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner — one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all-time. The Giants are in desperate need of outfield help and Frazier would become the crown jewel of their talent pool.
However, Bumgarner submitted an eight-team no-trade list
earlier this month and the Yankees were on it. So even if the Yankees had the best possible offer on the table for the Giants, the 29-year-old could still block it.
Another name to file as a pipe dream is Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer. With the franchise nosediving through the early portions of the 2019 season, including a series loss to the Mets this week, the idea of the Nationals trading Scherzer continues to pick up steam.
With two years left on his contract, the three-time Cy Young Award winner would call for a king's ransom to help fuel a sudden rebuild. Yet the Yankees have the assets to pull it off, as seen in their overwhelming depth exhibited during the season of injuries.
Frazier would have to b joined by the likes of top prospects in outfielder Estevan Florial along with pitchers like Albert Abreu and Luis Medina. That still might be enough as the idea of trading Scherzer is still a shocking one considering he's a top-three pitcher in baseball.