When the New York Yankees finally decided to move on from Clint Frazier earlier this month, it was pretty easy to start thinking about the Chicago Cubs being the team to get to take a chance on his considerable upside. But with the trade for Harold Ramirez, the minor league deal for Narciso Crook, and the option-less presence of Michael Hermosillo, it wasn’t clear that Frazier would see the Cubs as a great path toward playing time for a not-quite-established right-handed power bat. The Cubs had a lot of those types already.
But with Hermosillo moving on – in a probably not unrelated move – it looks like the Cubs DO seem like a good path now. Because the Cubs are getting Frazier:
The Cubs are closing in on a 1 yr deal with Clint Frazier, source tells ESPN. Was released by the Yankees recently.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) November 30, 2021
— Russell Dorsey (@Russ_Dorsey1) November 30, 2021
Frazier, 27, was a long-time top-tier prospect who originally came to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade. Yes, that means he originated with the Cleveland Indians, and yes, that means there was organizational overlap with current Cubs GM Carter Hawkins.
For his career, Frazier has shown the ability to produce – sometimes at a very high level – in the big leagues:
But there have also been long stretches of struggle with strikeouts and injury. There’s a reason the Yankees were ready to move on rather than tender Frazier a contract at an estimated $2.4 million. It’s still not entirely clear what the status is on Frazier’s health – he dealt with vertigo this year, and has had concussion issues in the past.
The upside here, though, is that of a very good middle-of-the-order bat. The strikeouts are always going to be there, but the power is huge, as is the walk rate.
If Frazier does finally put it together, the Cubs could theoretically have two more years of team control, depending on how the CBA shakes out. This is a really intelligent risk for the Cubs right now.