Kathy Willens/Associated Press
The New York Yankees, as expected, have raced out to a quick start this summer.
New York is 16-7 entering Wednesday evening’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it will almost certainly be a buyer ahead of the Aug. 31 trade deadline.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Yankees still hold both Frazier and Andujar in high esteem. Privately, however, they might be exploring potential trade avenues.
One National League scout told Sherman he likened Frazier to former Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield. The Bronx Bombers were very high on Sheffield, only to flip him for left-hander James Paxton in November 2018 when the need presented itself.
Sherman noted Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has spoken about receiving “plenty” of offers for Frazier, but the potential return has not justified a trade. However, if this NL scout is to be believed, it is possible the Yankees are still actively shopping youngsters like Frazier and Andujar.
Moving the youngsters would seem to make sense for the Yankees. Both Frazier and Andujar could be starters for other teams, and New York might still be on the lookout for a quality starting pitcher.
Andujar dazzled in 2018, surpassing franchise legend Joe DiMaggio for most doubles by a Yankees rookie. He also hit 27 homers and posted an .855 OPS while finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting.
But the 25-year-old’s shoulder injury in 2019 gave way to Gio Urshela, who has flourished ever since Andujar went on the shelf. Urshela hit 21 homers and posted an .889 OPS last year, and he currently has four homers to go along with an .820 OPS this season. Meanwhile, Andujar has struggled to get playing time with just 21 plate appearances this year.
Conversely, Frazier is starting to see more regular playing time with both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge on the injured list. The 25-year-old got off to a tremendous start, with seven hits, two homers and eight RBI in his first 11 at-bats. Frazier has since cooled off, however, with two hits in his last 11 at-bats.
But while Frazier has seen more regular playing time as of late, there are questions as to his long-term viability in the outfield.
Judge could return by the weekend, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Meanwhile, Mike Tauchman has asserted himself as an everyday player capable of slugging and stealing bases. He also offers the Yankees another left-handed bat in the lineup.
It is possible the Yankees look to exploit their depth by moving Frazier and Andujar, even if—according to Sherman—both players lack “the value within the industry that they did a few years ago.”
Both Frazier and Andujar are too talented to remain on the bench, and the Yankees might be able to flip either or both of them in exchange for young, controllable pitching. Indeed, Jon Morosi of MLB.com suggested this deadline could see moves involving “young players for young players.”
Or perhaps the Yankees could look to exploit the positional needs of a team like the Texas Rangers to see if they can nab a Mike Minor or Lance Lynn.
Regardless, there is a feeling within the industry the Yankees could become more open to moving at least one of their young MLB pieces ahead of the deadline.
All stats obtained via Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.