New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman recently went on record saying that he wants to get starting pitching help but does not want to deal 24-year-old outfielder Clint Frazier to get it.
But the way the Yankees are treating the promising slugger is suggesting otherwise.
Monday saw the franchise option Frazier to triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a second time this season. After a brief one-game stint in May, Frazier lasted just seven games with the big club in June before other teams among the Yankees’ roster derailed his MLB career once again.
After placing Gary Sanchez on the disabled list due to a strained right groin, the Yankees called up catcher Kyle Higashioka and reliever Giovanny Gallegos. The latter was brought in to lengthen the Yankees bullpen, which has struggled as of late.
It’s a shrewd move by the Yankees considering Frazier was batting .350 in eight games this season. His bid for his first home run of the season on Sunday was interfered by the speaker system suspended from the roof at Tropicana Field in Tampa.
Now it’s back to the minors for a player that frankly should not be there. In 42 games this season in triple-A, Frazier is slashing .302/.387/.550 with eight home runs and 12 RBI, numbers that would make almost any other team in the league give him the call for a permanent stay in the majors.
An embarrassment of offensive riches though makes Frazier an option instead of a priority and it’s an option that should be turned around to address serious team needs.
It’s no surprise that the Yankees have to pick up another starting pitcher before this summer’s trade deadline. Jordan Montgomery is out for the season and Masahiro Tanaka is on the shelf as well after a mishap running the bases at Citi Field. The pitchers that are left outside of ace Luis Severino, a serious AL Cy Young candidate, simply won’t cut it.
Sonny Gray’s ERA is flirting with 5.00, Domingo German has been wildly inconsistent in nine starts and the book is still out Jonathan Loaisiga, though he’s had a promising start to his Yankees career.
A true No. 2 starter behind Severino is needed and while rumors of an intercity trade for Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard have cooled down a bit, the Yankees are going to have to give something sizeable up for an arm like Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ or Chris Archer.
Frazier could be just that, especially if he continues to struggle to find playing time in a Yankees outfield that already features Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks.