With their postseason position deteriorating before their eyes, the New York Yankees executed a trade that should vastly improve their playoff chances with just under half a season remaining.
The Bronx Bombers landed a pair of former All-Stars from the Chicago White Sox in third baseman Todd Frazier and reliever David Robertson, as well as breakout bullpen righty Tommy Kahnle, in exchange for prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo, in addition to big league reliever Tyler Clippard.
Robertson, already a Yankee once in his career, and Kahnle have been dominant out of the White Sox pen this season, posting respective ERAs of 2.70 and 2.50. While Frazier hasn’t exactly set the world aflame since joining Chicago before the 2016 season, he’s a major upgrade over the pu pu platter New York had been running out at first base, where he’ll likely play in pinstripes.
The Yankees have received abysmal production at first base, running out a league-high 11 players at the cold corner so far this season; the team with the second-most has played eight guys at first.
The contracts of Robertson and Frazier both expire after the season, which is why the 27-year-old Kahnle, under team control through 2020, commanded the most in return for the White Sox, who are now swimming in elite prospect talent.
Rutherford, a 20-year-old outfielder, is the jewel of the White Sox’s haul here. MLB.com has him ranked as the No. 30 prospect in baseball.
Over the winter, Chicago traded ace Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for a batch of minor leaguers, including current No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada and No. 11 prospect Michael Kopech, according to MLB.com.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 19, 2017
With Blake Rutherford, the White Sox now have as many top-70 prospects (10, per MLB) as CLE, DET, MIN, KC, OAK, TEX, SEA and LAA combined.
— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) July 19, 2017
After holding as much as a four-game lead in the AL East in mid-June, the Yankees now find themselves in third place in the division behind the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays, but reside in the second AL wild card slot.
The White Sox have the worst record in the AL.