Yankees release Frazier, Odor

November 23rd, 2021

The Yankees released outfielder and infielder on Tuesday, four days after the players were designated for assignment ahead of Major League Baseball’s deadline to protect prospects from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

That 40-man roster crunch also prompted New York to designate infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade for assignment; Wade was traded to the Angels on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Famously celebrated by general manager Brian Cashman for his “legendary bat speed,” Frazier was selected fifth overall in the 2013 Draft and arrived as a key piece of the Deadline trade that sent left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland in 2016.

Frazier's best season came in 2019, when he hit .267/.317/.489 with 12 homers in a career-high 69 games. His trajectory has been altered by various injuries, including lingering concussion effects following a 2018 crash into an outfield wall and unspecified issues this past season that the club initially diagnosed as vertigo, including dizziness.

“I’d love to have the opportunity to talk about this situation publicly and probably plan to do so soon -- my issues have been very personal to me and something I’ve wanted to handle privately, but there’s been a lot of inaccurate things reported about my injury that I’ll clear up,” Frazier said in a tweet on Oct. 28.

Cashman said last week that he believed Frazier is close to being ready for Spring Training. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters this week that he believes Frazier can still enjoy big league success.

“Fortunately for him, his story is not complete from a baseball standpoint,” Boone said at Yankee Stadium on Monday. “The bottom line for Clint is, he’s a guy with a lot of ability. It’s just a matter of he’s dealt with some injuries and different things that kept him off the field at times. But I feel if he gets the right opportunity and [stays healthy], he still has a really good opportunity to write a really good career story.”

Odor, who turns 28 in February, batted .202/.286/.379 with 15 home runs and 39 RBIs in 102 games for the Yankees this year after being acquired from the Rangers in April. The Rangers remain responsible for nearly all of the $12.33 million that Odor is owed for the 2022 season.

The moves allowed the Yankees to protect five prospects from the Rule 5 Draft, adding infielder Oswaldo Cabrera, right-hander Ron Marinaccio, outfielder Everson Pereira, right-hander Stephen Ridings and lefty JP Sears to their 40-man roster.

Wade posted a farewell message to Yankees fans on Tuesday, saying on Twitter: “New York, the last 9 years have been a dream. I can’t thank the fans enough for embracing me and making me feel a part of the city. To All my teammates I’m gonna miss ballin and competing with y’all! New York will always be a part of me!”