While Chicago White Sox fans are hoping the club makes a splash in free agency by landing the likes of Carlos Correa, Marcus Semien, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, or Nick Castellanos to address starting needs. There are guys available who might be able to add depth to the bench. A case in point is now-former New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier.
In order to secure a few minor league prospects from the winter meeting’s draft, the Yankees designated Frazier, Tyler Wade, and Rougned Odor for assignment. For Frazier, it brings a possible end to what looked like a promising career with the Yankees when he was obtained in a trade from Cleveland for pitcher Andrew Miller.
Should Frazier clear waivers, he could be sent to the minors although he has the right to reject that move and become a free agent. Frazier was the fifth overall pick in 2013 by the Indians but his career to this point has been inconsistent at best.
When the Yankees picked him up, General Manager Brian Cashman said Frazier had “legendary bat speed”. Despite being named the team’s starting left fielder this past season, he had troubles at the plate to the tune of a .186 batting average with five homers and 15 RBI in 183 at-bats.
The Chicago White Sox could add a New York Yankee for some lineup depth.
Those numbers came in only 66 games played, which marked the second-most games he has appeared in during his five years on the major league level. He played in 69 games in 2019, which happened to be his best year as he hit .267 with 12 homers and 14 doubles. Overall, he has posted a career line of .239/.327/.434 which includes 29 homers in 807 plate appearances.
Injuries have been a problem in Frazier’s career, especially this year, as he struggled with some health issues that the Yankees described as vertigo that forced his season to come to an end on June 30. He seemed to be making enough progress in his rehabilitation that Cashman said Frazier should be ready to go for spring training.
While Frazier is capable of playing all three outfield positions, the 27-year-old has played more games in right field (104) during his career. In three fewer games playing left field, he has posted a .992 fielding percentage compared to .964 in right.
Lest one thinks the Sox would be looking at Frazier to fill the void in right, remember they already have Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheets on the team while the versatile Leury Garcia is a free agent. Adding Frazier would be more for bench depth than locking him in as the everyday starter. Plus, he would come at a very reasonable price since he made only $2.1 million last year
Wade could also be an option for the bench as he played every position last season except catcher and pitcher. He played in a career-high 103 games in 2021 and hit .268. During one 18 game stretch between July and August, Wade had a 1.046 OPs in 49 trips to the plate.