Saturday, November 20, 2021

Either too soon or too late - take your pick - the Yankees jettison Clint Frazier and get almost nothing in return

Well, it's over. The Clint Frazier Era... 

After six years and a million expectations - with great victories and resounding defeats, like a war on some ethereal enemy - the dance with Red Thunder has ended, and nobody is sure what happened, or why? After all that's happened, it's over, and he's gone - with nothing in return.

Wow. I didn't see this coming.

At last, we have reached sort of a closure on the Andrew Miller deadline deal of 2016. The most impactful player has turned out to be J.P. Feyerisen, now a lug nut in the Tampa bullpen. (Seattle still waits on Justus Sheffield, who we converted into an injury year of James Paxton, and somewhere out there, Ben Heller is pitching to a coach and maybe taking a side course in selling insurance.) 

At last, we put to rest the fantastical imagery of Frazier's "legendary bat speed," as Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman once put it. The only thing legendary about Frazier will be the hype that surrounded him. Ever since he came to the Yankees in the summer of 2016 - the Summer of Gary! - we penciled him in as a future star, the rare slugger who would hit for power and average. We kept waiting for his arrival.  

At last, we dispense with the Great Numerical Outfield - with Frazier, #77, and Judge, #99, framing a great CF who would wear #88. (Jasson Dominiquez?) It was going to be one of the great Yankee mystiques of all-time. Nope. Not gonna happen.

At last, we dispel the notion that the Yankees didn't like Frazier's type A personality, embodied by the story that he once asked to wear #7, a joke that backfired due to the cattiness of the organization. The fact is, the Yankees gave him most of 2021 to prove himself. He got his chance. He didn't hit. 

At last, he gets to press the career RESET button at age 27, and start over in another place. And for all the ups and downs, the Yankees decision yesterday came either way too late or way too early. In the end, they'll get next to nothing for him. (I believe Cashman has 10 days to trade him? Is that how it works?)

For the last three years, Frazier could have anchored a trade. Now, he's floating on an iceberg. In the end, they'll have converted Miller - one of baseball's best pitchers into a injury-withered season of Paxton. From Red Thunder to Big Maple, we were always waiting for something good to happen. It never came.

It would be fun to say, "Ha! Told you so!" For me, that would be a lie. I loved the Andrew Miller deal and for six years have followed Frazier, waiting for his moment. For several years, the Yankees sat on him, didn't give him a chance. Last year, they did, and he sucked. He hit .186. 

I'm sure Cashman has already shopped him everywhere. Nobody wants to trade for a guy with dizzy spells. Which brings me to one last thought: I sure hope he's alright. Clint Frazier's Yankee Era is over. But I hope he cobbles together a good career. He was fun to watch. Loved the smile. Hate to see him go. 

I can't end without mentioning Tyler Wade, who also was waived yesterday (along with Rougned Odor, a fine fellow who needs a new approach to hitting.) Wade has been a hopeful Yankee presence since 2013, when he was drafted in the fourth round out of high school. He rose through ranks and in 2017, at age 22, was named International League all-star SS. He hit .310 in 85 games, with 7 HR and 38 stolen bases. His future seemed limitless.

The following year, he got 66 at bats with the Yankees. Sixty-six. He hit .167 and was exiled to Scranton and told to become a utility man. (As backup, the Yankees preferred 32-year-old Neil Walker.) 

Looking back, I wonder: How do you sit on a 22-year-old with so much potential, and give him only 66 at bats? For five years, Wade has lived the Scranton shuttle, finally becoming last year's pinch runner - an electrifying stealer of bases. 

If the Yankees had simply played him in LF last August, rather than obtain the strikeout king, Joey Gallo - it's not hard to imagine them winning home field advantage in the Wild Card. Think of all those strikeouts. Wade batted .268 - that's 108 percentage points above Gallo, the whiff machine. 

They had a great prospect. In the end, they get next to nothing. 


Publius said...

Cabrera makes Wade expendable, apparently. We'll see. Wade can contribute to a contender and start for a second division team. Hope he gets a real shot. Frazier? I think it's all over. Maybe a change of scenery helps him, but I think he's a hopeless head case, even without the dizziness or concussion. The Yankees could have handled him better, but he was obviously not comfortable from the start. And he doesn't seem like the brightest guy in the world, or at least "reading the room" is not on of his strengths. Beside the #7 nonsense, there was his media blackout after butchering a few balls against Boston. First hint of his cluelessness was in 2016. He caught the last out in RF for the RailRiders AAA national chhampionship. He started jogging in, then rather than put it in his pocket for safekeeping he chucked the ball into the stands. Big deal, right? Minors, so what? True, true, but I remember thinking it was it was a bad sign even then.

JM said...

Frazier ran into a wall and his career went into a tailspin. That's truly a tragedy. The way the Yankees treated him was also a tragedy. The way they've treated Wade is far, far worse.

This organization just flat-out sucks. Amazingly, record-settingly, fantastically sucks.

Fuck Cashman.

p.s. Boone is an idiot.

The Ghost of Spider Lockhart said...

When Frazier first came up -I loved his hustle and swagger, he ran the bases like a freight train and reminded me so much of Pete Rose. But that was his high water mark.

John Greenleaf Whittier (an OG Yankee fan) said it best:

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: 'It might have been!"

ranger_lp said...

I agree Publius wrt Wade. I think that one of these three players will make the 25 man roster: Cabrera, Volpe or Peraza. And the way Wells is playing in the Arizona Fall League, it's time to bring him up too. We can't continue to stash our best prospects in the minors and bring them up when they are 25 or 26. How many years did we lose on Judge because we brought him up at 25 years old?

Yanks are always behind. We held on to steroid-laden players when steroids were phasing out. Older players couldn't continue to play without juice. We continue to seek established players who are on the other side of their careers thinking we can get a bolt of lightning. We continue to keep players who can't stay healthy, COVID aside. Hopefully, Brian Brain and Hal have decided to roll the dice and go with some of our prospects. And with the rest of our roster, they should hire nine hitting instructors so each starter has a personal hitting coach...that will start a trend...we don't do that very much here...setting trends...

Pgpick said...

The way Frazier and Wade were handled over the years has been a friggin joke. While I do not pretend to know more than the “experts”, any fool could see that they were both grossly mishandled.

So now they are gone and I, for one, wish them only to get a real opportunity with an organization that puts real value on what they bring.

Doug K. said...

Later today I have to call my 94 year old mother and tell her that her favorite Yankee, "eyebrows", has been DFAd. She will be sad and then say, "Well at least they still have Gardy."

Wish me luck.

C... said...

Spot on. Yankees have never adjusted post steriod era.

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

I too was hoping for Frazier to have a better career in Pinstripes however he just could never get it going and then add the injuries and alas the Yankees finally couldn't wait anymore. I was hoping for better. Good Luck to him moving forward.

ZacharyA said...

Am I the only one who thought Tyler Wade did a fine job as a backup infielder this season?

.268 BA
.354 OBP
17 SB
6 defensive positions

I get that he has zero power, but do you need that from a backup infielder?

We held onto Wade for NINE YEARS and now when he finally shows some usefulness, he’s DFAed.

And it’s not like he’s expensive. I think his arbitration estimation is $700K.

I really don’t understand this front office sometimes. Well, more than just “sometimes.”

Carl J. Weitz said...

As has been said many many times on this blog, the Yankees management, aka the Bloated Front Office is among the worst in all of MLB. I can't remember many, if any, minor league prospects that have been drafted and "developed" by the team who have become an every day player and is above average. Louis Severino is all I can remember. It can't be that the Yankees have just had bad luck defying the law of averages. No, it's the organization from top to bottom that is inept and incompetent. They can't develop a talented prospect. They do the reverse by keeping them blocked from the Bronx by signing big named yet past their prime players. They are lied to and fucked over every step along the way. Even when they acquire a good prospect in a trade, they regress in pinstripes and rarely get called up except when emergencies arise. And even if they do very well, they are demoted back to Scranton or Somerset.

This will never change until the team is sold or management replaced. In other words, not in our lifetime.

Alphonso said...

I gotta agree with Carl. 100%.

ranger_lp said...

@ZacharyA...I get ya about Wade but me thinks that the FO knows that there are three in the pipeline measurably better than Wade. And they DON'T have to go out and get a SS.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I remember your outfield numbers dream, Duque. You wanted to get...Dustin Fowler to change his number to 88, and play CF. Then Fowler got hurt playing RF in his one and only game for us, wrecking his knee on a utility box cleverly placed on the outside of the stands at whatever Post-Comiskey Park was called then.

June 29, 2017. He was playing RF because the grounds were wet, and Joe Girardi didn't want to risk taxing the legs of...Jacoby Ellsbury.

Such are the happenstances upon which empires rise and fall.

thomas said...

I don't know why the fuck Gardner played before Wade. If they resign Gardner for another year, I will blow a fucki9ng gasket. What a shithole. Please more on!

Celerino Sanchez said...

So in 2016, they had the top 2 relievers to trade at the deadline. One had 3 yrs left on his contract. The trading of those 2 players should have set up this team up for the next 10 yrs, but all that's left is Torres, great job HOF Cashman.

EBD said...

It's bullshit that the Yankees gave him his big chance in 2021. From the very start of the season, he was treated like a leper--getting yanked for defensive replacements late in games, getting pinch-hit for chronically against righties in tight games. He was never given a real vote of confidence. His real potential was evident in 2020, when he played most of the season, but only because of injuries, and merely put up a .900-plus OPS and superb defense in right field over a full third of a normal season--a significant sample size. Yet he was benched in favor of Gardner for the 2020 postseason and then barely tolerated in 2021. Get serious, duque. For all your sporadic brashness about the organization's follies, most of the time you defend Cashman and spin the party line--like a good company man. That's your gut version of being a Yankee fan--being a seargent-major for the Yankee front office.

Stang said...

Duque's unqualified support of Brian Cashman brings shame to this blog

Mattingly's Mustache said...

The apologists for Frazier on this blog have always been more about the poetic idea/appeal of Red Thunder than his actual performance, which was lacking.

An outfielder that can't catch is somewhat of a liability.

Feel for the guy in terms of the way he was pulled around by the team, and hope his concussion problems resolve, but another RH bat in a moribund lineup is not what the Yankees should pursue.