CHICAGO -- The White Sox traded third baseman Todd Frazier, closer Player Page for David Robertson and right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees on Tuesday night in exchange for a four-player package headlined by outfielder Blake Rutherford, the Majors' No. 30 prospect per MLBPipeline.com.
It was a little different than the other moves executed by general manager Rick Hahn during the organization's current rebuild. But it had the same basic goal in mind: Add as much impact talent as possible in building toward sustained success.
"Over the last few weeks, we spent a considerable amount of time surveying the market for each of these players individually and decided that the more prudent path to acquiring more talent similar to what we have over the last several months, the best path to acquiring the highest-impact talent, would be to bundle these players together," Hahn said during a press conference following his team's 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.
"I know it's perhaps a little surprising, especially given what we have done over the last several months in terms of these individual trades, to see three players the caliber of Todd Frazier, Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson all in the same deal. But in order to get the caliber of return that helps continue the process that we've started over the last several months, we felt this was the prudent path to get the most impactful talent in the organization."
Rutherford batted .281 with 20 doubles and 41 runs scored for Class A Charleston this season. He gives the White Sox seven prospects among MLBPipeline.com's Top 50, and 10 in the Top 68, with Yoan Moncada, the No. 1 prospect overall, making his White Sox debut on Wednesday and becoming the team's starting second baseman.
Left-handed starter Ian Clarkin and outfielder Tito Polo join Rutherford in the prospect haul from the Yankees. Veteran reliever Tyler Clippard and the remainder of his $4.25 million for '17 will join the White Sox bullpen. No other cash was included in the deal, another important aspect for the White Sox, with Robertson owed close to $18 million over this season and '18 and Frazier close to $5 million for '17.
"We did have conversations with some clubs about including cash, in theory, to improve the prospect return," Hahn said. "In the end, regardless of whether there was cash involved in another deal or which combination of players, this was the setup involving all three of these players that allowed us the most impactful return, so it was the right one."
MLBPipeline.com ranks Rutherford as Chicago's new No. 6 prospect, while Clarkin ranks 18th.
Frazier, a New Jersey native and resident, is set to become a free agent after the season, and has been the focus of trade rumors since this past weekend, while Robertson returns to where he pitched the first seven years of his career. But Hahn admitted Tuesday's trade doesn't happen without Kahnle, who is having a breakout season.
"It means a lot to me," said Kahnle, who was a fifth-round selection of the Yankees in the 2010 Draft. "But I'm going to stay humble like always. I don't look into that stuff that much."
"Maybe I can stay at home a little more, or maybe I can stay up in the city," Frazier said. "It's nice to have a couple of my buddies coming here with me."
This move comes five days after the White Sox sent Jose Quintana across town to the Cubs in exchange for four prospects, headlined by outfielder Eloy Jimenez (No. 8 prospect overall per MLBPipeline.com) and right-hander Dylan Cease (No. 63 overall). And they aren't done yet leading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera, starting pitchers Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez, infielder Tyler Saladino and relievers Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings and perhaps even Clippard will be available. Even first baseman Jose Abreu and All-Star outfielder Avisail Garcia, who each have two years of club control, could be dealt for an overwhelming return.
"You know, it's been an exciting time around here. It's an interesting feeling," Hahn said. "Tonight was a pretty perfect example. You had a beautiful night, a good crowd here at the park and a 1-0 ballgame against Clayton Kershaw. But at the same time, I'm guessing a large portion of White Sox Nation was refreshing Twitter to find out what the latest trade rumor was and feel some hope about the future.
"We have a lot of work to do, both in player development and to continue to acquire similar such players to keep this process moving. In terms of what we've been able to do since December, last Draft or wherever you want to draw that line, we're pleased. But at the same time, we know we have more work to do."
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
While he is unlikely to provide a helpful batting mark, Frazier could be a terrific source of home runs and RBIs now that he has hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium as a home park and belongs to a lineup that ranks third in the Majors with 490 runs scored. The 31-year-old is hardly the only winner from this deal, as Moncada will be called up to the White Sox on Wednesday. With solid power and elite speed, Moncada has the skills to make an impact in shallow leagues immediately. Sticking in Chicago, the South Siders may struggle to produce a mixed-league-worthy closer after dealing both Robertson and Kahnle. Newly acquired righty Clippard has the most ninth-inning experience on the White Sox, but he's posted a 13.06 ERA since June 13. As for the two relievers headed to New York, both Robertson and Kahnle are expected to settle into middle-relief roles on a Yankees squad that employs Albertin Chapman and Dellin Betances.