Yankees trade for David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle

UPDATE: The Yankees officially announced the trade sometime after midnight last night. The fourth player in the dead headed to Chicago is Tito Polo, an outfielder whom the Yankees acquired in the deal that sent Ivan Nova to Pittsburgh. Polo was actually putting up strong numbers after a promotion to Double-A and hit .298/.358/.446 in 72 games overall this season.

ORIGINAL POST: The Yankees are “very close” to a deal with the Chicago White Sox that would send righty relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, as well as infielder Todd Frazier to the Bronx, according to both Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman. The deal hasn’t been finalized, but multiple sources are reporting that the four players headed to Chicago are Tyler Clippard, Blake Rutherford and Ian Clarkin (Feinsand, Nightengale and Sherman, respectively).

As of 11:01 p.m. EST, Joel Sherman has reported that a fourth player, a prospect, will be involved in the deal.

That makes two former Yankees headed back to the Bronx and it should form one heck of a bullpen.

Robertson, 32, is in the third year of a four year contract that pays him $12 million this season and $13 million next. However, he’s having his best season since leaving the Yankees with a 2.70 ERA (158 ERA+) a 12.7 K/9 and a 3.0 BB/9 in 33.1 innings. He’ll replace Clippard in the bullpen and provide eighth inning insurance for Dellin Betances as well.

Kahnle, who will turn 28 next month, is a former Yankee draft pick who was drafted by the Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft. He throws 100 MPH and has become a decent reliever over the past two seasons with the White Sox including a 2.50 ERA (171 ERA+) a 15.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 36 innings. There is no way his control will remain this good but even with some regression, Kahnle should help provide depth to the bullpen.

Frazier, 31, is a slightly-better-than-league-average player who is having a typical season with a .207/.328/.432 line in 81 games. His career line is .247/.318/.461 so there is room for slight improvement. More than anything — this finally will end the string of pathetic first basemen the Yankees have been running out there. Yankee first basemen have collectively hit .185/.275/.360 this season.

ROB’S THOUGHTS: This isn’t a terrible deal. Make no mistake — losing Rutherford is a big deal, but he isn’t a guy that is going to impact the 2018 or even the 2019 team. The Yankees are looking toward the future, but if they aren’t seriously competing without Rutherford by 2019 then something went wrong.

Aside from Rutherford, it’s easy to love the rest of the deal. Getting rid of Clippard is addition by subtraction and plugging in D-Rob and Kahnle should be a big boost.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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20 Responses to Yankees trade for David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle

  1. tom says:

    Well, not a bunch exactly. lol.

    I could not care for Rutherford. I am okay with losing Clarkin. I am extremely thrilled to see Clippard change uniform. 4th piece is unknown but I hope Domingo Acevedo. Cessa, Gallegos, Heller or Holder may be moved?

    Does this trade makes Chad Green a starter again?

    • mike d says:

      Wrong on Rutherford and Clarkin, correct on Clippard. Green's career is being ruined the same way Warren's has been

      • pojack23 says:

        How is Green's career being ruined? By showing breakout ability that he hadn't really shown as a a starter in the majors? How's Warren being ruined? He's pitching great this year after being lousy with the cubs?

  2. Dan M says:

    This looks like a rare "win-win" deal on paper for both teams, Yankees upgrade bullpen and corner infield positions and White Sox continue to rebuild and replenish their farm system. We may look at the White Sox again in 3-5 years and seem them the same way we see the Astros right now. Loosing Rutherford stinks but he was only in A-ball and probably anywhere from 3-4 years away from MLB, with Judge, Frazier and hopefully a healthy Dustin Fowler filling the outfield their just wouldn't be any place for him to fit in that time frame. Let's not forget possibility of Bryce Harper in Free Agency. Clarkin is talented but plagued by injuries and the Yankees drafted a horde of pitchers this past draft so he was expendable; not to mention he could've been open to the "Rule 5 draft" this off season. Clippard is gone and that's fine; lastly Tito Polo was the last player the Yankees gave up and I'll be honest I've never heard of him before today and it seems he was fairly expandable as well. All in all Yanks won, trade improves the team, tonight was a goodnight.

    • buckeyeballs says:

      they got Polo for Nova-I liked him but agree the outfield is crowded and I think they like Estevan Florial long term. Short term there is no room for Frazier and fowler but hopefully gardy gone by next year. I thought Green was pitching great in relief but they never use him 2 days in a row which is why they don'lt win consecutive games. Maybe now with all these relievers they can get some streaks going. I also would not be shocked if Betances gets packaged for a starter after the season.

  3. Jim says:

    Seems like a solid trade. Now they need to move a veteran outfielder and either Headley or Frazier.

  4. Jack says:

    Terrific trade for the Yankees. Cashman hopefully gets a couple of starters think Gray and Verlander and this will be the Yankees of old going for the World Series title. Go YANKEES

    • thomaas says:

      No Verlander unless the Tigers eat lots of money.Hal want to get under LT.

      • tom says:

        Tigers are expected to absorb some if they want to move him. Still, Yankees will face LT problem with him aboard.tom

  5. tom says:

    Wow.. the following trade made Clippard, Refsnyder and Rutherford non Yankee players. I am so thrilled.

    • Jerry says:

      Why don't you like Rutherford? That's the piece I hated to lose. Although you have to give to get , and I like the deal. Robertson and Kahnle are terrific additions to the pen. Hopefully this ignites Frazier and amps up his hitting for a better average along with his substantial power. A great deal for the Yankees, who most likely will not know how good for a few years. ( depending on the players they gave up,). One more starter, or perhaps Chance Adams coming up has to happen. More work to do, very short on starters not just for this year , but the ensuing years. Don't be surprised what could be done. Anybody is tradeable, maybe not Judge, it just depends on what makes sense. Desperate for starters.

      • tom says:

        Since Rutherford has yet to reach MLB level I rather to keep opinions to myself. However, I don't feel it was necessary for Yankees to acquire Kahnle. Yankees could use Rutherford as a trade bait for SP. Yankees kept Cessa instead of Shreve so what is a plan for 5th spot? Cessa stays in the rotation or moves to bullpen for Green as Caleb Smith is under the evaluation.

        Yankees have Red Frazier and Hick to man RF so Judge should be tradeable if you manage to score 2 SPs. Remember D-Rob's basically replaces Holliday on luxury tax next year. That means Yankees will still have a hard time to revamp the rotation and get under the threshold at the same time. If any team offers two young and solid SPs for Judge then Yankees will have to consider this deal.

        I just found out that Chance Adams can't really pitch as statistic suggests. Well, that is disappointing. Because of that, I think Yankees will maximize him up to IP limit in AAA without any extra pressure. It is safer for the former reliever. umm.

        We need to pay attention on Zack Littell because he actually can pitch. As he will be eligible for Rule 5 draft this offseason, he may be promoted to AAA soon. If it happens this week or next week then I think Littell has a shot to earn a cup of joe in majors by September, barring trades.

        I don't get a clear definition of where Frazier will play. At 3B with Headley moving to 1B? If so then be careful with Headley's bum back. poor accuracy from infielders may strain his back.

        • tom says:

          Ah.. Frazier is a 3B and Headley/Cooper 1B because of offensive availability. Good Luck, Headley.

        • Balt Yank says:

          There is no way the Yankees should trade Judge. His rookie year is one of the best by a Yankee since … Soriano? He was fun to watch when young. Even better. I can see trading Sanchez for Quintana, something like that, but I wouldn't do it. This is a good trade but I hope the Yankees turn back to growing their own.

          • pojack23 says:

            Judge is becoming one of the biggest stars in the gem there isn't a chance they would trade him for two young starting pitchers since the Yankees have two in the rotation and others like Sheff and Adams getting close. You would have to be trolling to suggest.

  6. gary B says:

    What Yankee fans need to understand ( Inept Girardi along with his band of equally inept pitching coaches will continue to drag the team to the depths of irrelevance) How can any mgr justify leaving a pitcher in and allow him to stay in and get lit up for 6 runs? I love the Yankees but until Braindead Joe and coaches are gone this BS will continue ( SOS different day different flies same result/s). This current regime and brass should be an embarrassment to their fans. Love the Yankees but understand that until a mgmt & coaching change (Firing) occurs the Yankees will continue be a underperforming second class team. DFA Joe and his Seven Dwarfs!!! GO YANKEES Great site (Hope it stays up)

    • Jack says:

      Agree by the book Girardi has to go . Ten years ONE championship !!!! I am also sick and tired of hearing about the luxury tax! The Dodgers pay it and have a terrific team . The Yanks are rated number 2 in sports franchises worth over 3 BILLION and rated #1 in all of baseball. Go Yanks

  7. enter42 says:

    If you're going to move Blake Rutherford then it has to be for a starting pitcher. This will prove be a swing and a miss. Nothing wrong with upgrading the bullpen but not at the cost of Blake Rutherford. I'm surprised that the Yanks couldn't land Quintana with their willingness to move Rutherford and Clarkin and these other 2 guys plus maybe a throw in of Refsnyder.

    • pojack23 says:

      Rutherford is not going to be a cf, and he's going to be blocked by Judge and Frazier in the corners. Elroy Jimenez is a better prospect than Rutherford is why the cubs got Quintana. What starting pitcher other than Sonny Gray is available would be worth surrendering him for?

  8. hotdog says:

    Glad to see Todd Fraizer get a hit. We just really use some lightning in the bottle.

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