Should the Cleveland Guardians kick the tires on Clint Frazier?
The New York Yankees have parted ways with outfielder Clint Frazier – should the Guardians consider bringing back their one-time top prospect?
Clint Frazier’s time with the New York Yankees has come to an end. It’s not necessarily surprising that New York cut ties with him so much as how, designating him for assignment as a 40-man roster cut.
Frazier, who is arbitration-eligible this offseason, had a total of 807 plate appearances over five years with the Yankees, as he was unable to crack the roster as a full-time player while apparently not making many friends in the organization. In total, he hit .239/.327/.434 with 29 home runs, 41 doubles, 97 RBIs and a 105 wRC+ with the Yankees.
After a strong showing in the shortened 2020 season, it seemed Frazier was destined to finally become a regular in the Yankees outfield. But he didn’t play past June of this year due to blurred vision, dizziness and vertigo-like symptoms, which is especially worrisome given his concussion history.
It’s a really unfortunate break for a player Cleveland fans will certainly remember as one of the top prospects in baseball, and someone who looked to finally be reaching that potential in New York. Frazier was the centerpiece in the deal that brought lefty reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland in 2016, which catapulted the Indians to a World Series berth against the Chicago Cubs (we won’t say what happened next).
So should the Guardians kick the tires on their former top prospect? It’s a tantalizing thought, considering Frazier has shown brief flashes of the talent that made him such a coveted player and a first-round pick. A new environment could do him a whole lot of good.
It really comes down to Frazier’s health, because it does appear to be an unresolved issue. Obviously, Frazier’s health comes first, but assuming he is ready to get back on the field, the 27-year-old would make for an interesting pickup. He’s never had more than 246 plate appearances in a season, so the Guardians could give Frazier the keys to left field to see what’s there.
It would be a cheap, relatively low-risk option, but Cleveland does have a deep well of prospects to draw from that could help them acquire a more established outfield presence. If the right deal presented itself, the team could very well go that route. What better place, though, for Frazier to get a fresh start than with the team that drafted him in the first place? The power potential, the bat speed, the majestic red hair he could once again grow… it wouldn’t be the worst move the Guardians could make.
Assuming Frazier is healthy, the upside is certainly still there.
Steve DiMatteo is the host of the California Penal League Podcast, which you can find on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else you get your podcasts.