NEW YORK – Clint Frazier’s tenure with the New York Yankees may have ended after five unsatisfactory seasons, when New York designated him for an assignment Friday to open a roster spot for a prospect before the Winter Meetings draft. .
Frazier can be claimed by another major league team with exemptions. If not, he could be assigned directly to the minors, but he would have the right to decline the assignment and become a free agent because he has at least three years of major league service.
Infielders Rougned Odor and Tyler Wade were also designated for assignment.
Now 27, Frazier was the fifth overall pick in the 2013 Cleveland Guardians amateur draft and was a prized prospect when he was acquired by the Yankees in the July 2016 trade that sent reliever Andrew Miller to the then Indians.
Frazier made his major league debut in July 2017, but has never had more than 246 plate appearances in one season. His 2018 season was ruined when he hit an outfield wall in Bradenton, Florida, during a spring training game, suffering a concussion that limited him to 41 plate appearances that season.
He hit .267 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs in 2019, but struggled with defense, reaching a low point against the Boston Red Sox in June when he played poorly at hits by Eduardo Nunez, Andrew Benintendi and Michael Chavis.
His defense improved a lot this season, but he hit .186 with five home runs and 15 RBIs. He didn’t play after June 30 for what the Yankees called vertigo.
“I would love the opportunity to speak publicly about this situation and I probably plan to do so soon,” Frazier wrote on Twitter on October 11. “My issues have been very personal to me and something I wanted to handle. In private, but a lot of inaccurate things have been reported about my injury that I will clarify.”
Frazier had a salary of $ 2.1 million last season and had been eligible for arbitration.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week that Frazier was training in Atlanta before 2022.
“There is a lot of expectation and optimism that what happened will not be a problem when he comes into next season,” Cashman said.
New York also traded right-hander Nick Nelson to the Philadelphia Phillies along with minor league catcher Donny Sands for minor league infielder TJ Rumfield and left-hander Joel Valdez.
With the moves, the Yankees were able to protect five prospects for next month’s Winter Meetings Rule 5 draft. The Yankees selected the contracts of right-handers Stephen Ridings and Ron Marinacci, infielder Oswaldo Cabrera, outfielder Everson Pereira and left-hander JP Sears to the Major League Baseball roster.