The White Sox are sending all three of their most heavily rumored trade chips—third baseman Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle—to the Yankees in exchange for prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo plus, uh, Tyler Clippard.
The move gives the Yankees help for a bullpen that will likely need it down the stretch, with both Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman struggling more than expected so far this year. Robertson is in the middle of his best campaign in a few years after beginning to show some cracks in recent seasons, which is all the more impressive for a guy who’s already held a spot as one of baseball’s better relievers throughout his career. Meanwhile, Kahnle is enjoying a breakout year with a strikeout rate near the top of the leaderboards at 15.0 per nine innings. And while Frazier has slipped a bit at the plate this year, he’ll still add some above-average power potential to the New York infield before becoming a free agent at the end of this year—with a 2017 ISO higher than all but three of his new teammates.
In return, the White Sox will get one of the Yankees top farmhands in Rutherford. The 20-year-old outfielder is no. 30 on MLB.com’s top prospects list and was ranked 40th on FanGraphs’ pre-season list and 49th on Baseball Prospectus’ pre-season list. This means that the White Sox now have three top 15 prospects and six top 30 prospects, per MLB.com’s list.
The Yankees are helping themselves here not only by addition but by subtraction, as acquiring Frazier means taking away an option at third base for the division-rival Red Sox. Boston, who cut loose the albatross contract around their neck by DFA’ing Pablo Sandoval last week, had been heavily rumored as a contender for Frazier and will now have to look elsewhere to fill their void at the hot corner. (The Yankees currently sit three and a half games back of the Red Sox.)
Plus, the Yankees are getting rid of Tyler Clippard, which is nothing if not adding by subtraction.