MLB trades: Yankees get Robertson, Frazier, Kahnle from White Sox for prospects

The Yankees have swung a deal for three big-leaguers who will be very helpful in their quest to return to the playoffs while the White Sox have grabbed another big group of prospects to help in their rebuild. 

The deal sends corner infielder Todd Frazier along with relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to the Yankees for a package of prospects. 

Those prospects: Blake Rutherford, Tito Polo and Ian Clarkin. More on these three below. 

The White Sox also get reliever Tyler Clippard to help fray some of the salary the Yankees are taking on with Frazier and Robertson. 

Both teams announced the deal after their games finished on Tuesday. 

The biggest issues for the Yankees of late have been the gaping hole at first base — especially now that it’s known Greg Bird won’t be back for a long time — and the bullpen. This deal obviously helps alleviate those concerns. 

Frazier, 31, is a free agent after this season who has mostly been a third baseman in his career. He can also, however, play first. He’s hitting .207/.328/.432 with 15 doubles, 16 homers and 44 RBI this season. He hit 40 homers last year, so the power certainly hasn’t gone anywhere, despite his ability to hit for average being severely diminished since his 2015 All-Star Game appearance as a member of the Cincinnati Reds

Regarding Frazier, it should also be noted that switch-hitting Yankees third baseman Chase Headley entered Tuesday hitting .208/.232/.302 against lefties. Frazier swings right-handed, so he’s also an option at third against Southpaws. 

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The 32-year-old Robertson, of course, spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Yankees, so this would mark a reunion. This season, he’s closed down 13 of 14 saves with a 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. He’s been comfortable not being closer in the past, so moving to a setup role shouldn’t be an issue. 

Kahnle, 27, would be the unknown among casual fans in this deal, but he’s having an exceptional season. The 6-foot-1 right-hander has 60 strikeouts against only seven walks in 36 innings with a 2.50 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and he’s left nine of the 10 runners he’s inherited on base. 

On the White Sox’s end, Rutherford is the big name here. He was the Yankees’ first-round pick in 2016. The center fielder can handle all three outfield spots if need be. He’s hitting .281/.342/.391 with 20 doubles, two triples, two homers, 30 RBI, 41 runs and nine steals in 71 games for Class A Charleston this season. 

Those who watched the World Baseball Classic might recognize Polo’s name from Colombia. In 72 games this season between High-A and Double-A, he’s hitting .298/.358/.446 with 13 doubles, seven triples, five homers, 36 RBI, 55 runs and 25 steals. He’s also an outfielder who has mostly seen time in center but can handle all four spots. 

Clarkin, 22, is a left-handed pitcher. In 14 outings (13 starts) this season in High-A, he’s 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 57 strikeouts against 25 walks in 72 1/3 innings. 

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And, again, Clippard is just for salary relief for the Yankees. 

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