Yankees, Diamondbacks Make Trades
The New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks each made a trade July 18th to improve themselves for a playoff run as we approach the end of the month non-waiver trade deadline.
New York (48-44) was 3 and a half games behind the front running Boston Red Sox and a game and a half behind the second place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. Not a bad position, but the Yankees are just 10-21 since June 13th, so a little help was in order. The Yankees picked up third baseman/first baseman Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the rebuilding Chicago White Sox in exchange for three of the Yankees’ better minor league prospects and pitcher Tyler Clippard.
Clippard has struggled with the Yankees this season, but has been a good setup man in the past, so a change of scenery may be of benefit. Last season, Frazier had career highs of 40 homers and 98 RBIs for the White Sox, very productive considering he hit just .225. He’s also got some speed on the base paths, stealing 48 bases during the 2014-16 seasons. He’s hitting .207 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs after a poor start to the season. He’ll be another powerful bat in the lineup with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
Robertson is on his second tour with the Yankees. The White Sox closer, Robertson was 4-2 with 14 saves this season, but will probably be the setup guy for Aroldis Chapman, at least for now. Chapman has three blown saves this year, and opponents are hitting .245 against him, a career high. Robertson can easily slide back into the closer’s role if needed. Kahnle provides more depth in a bullpen that is already pretty decent.
The Arizona Diamondbacks showed they are serious about a playoff run and traded three minor leaguers to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder J.D. Martinez. Martinez missed the first six weeks of the season with a foot injury, but is putting up some good numbers (.305, 16 homers, 39 RBIs). Arizona is 54-30, but is 10 ½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks are in the #1 position for a Wild Card, but they are just 4-11 in their last 15 games. Martinez adds some pop to a lineup that features Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Owings, and Jake Lamb. The Tigers, meanwhile, appear to be coming to the realization that its time to do some retooling of a roster that is showing some age.