Yanks designate Frazier amid flurry of moves

November 20th, 2021

’s turbulent tenure with the Yankees may have ended on Friday. The team designated the outfielder for assignment amid a flurry of roster moves ahead of Major League Baseball’s 6 p.m. ET deadline for clubs to set 40-man rosters.

Infielder and infielder were also designated for assignment by the Yankees, who faced a crunch with protecting prospects from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft, scheduled to take place at the Winter Meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

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. Frazier’s 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. Cashman said on Thursday that he believed Frazier is close to being ready for Spring Training. 

“He got taken offline rather early [in 2021] and he didn't get back,” Cashman said. “He's going have to find his way back into it. He's certainly more than capable of doing that. So most important is his health and being healthy. Once that's in play, which I believe it is, his journey can begin again.”

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. A fourth-round pick of the Yankees in 2013, Wade turns 27 later this month and hit .268/.354/.323 in 103 games this season, appearing at every position but first base, catcher and pitcher.

The Yankees also executed a trade with the Phillies on Friday, acquiring a pair of 21-year-old prospects in exchange for right-hander Nick Nelson and catcher Donny Sands. New York obtained infielder T.J. Rumfield and left-hander Joel Valdez in the swap.

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.

“We have a good, strong system, which provides a lot of difficult choices to make,” Cashman said on Thursday.

Cabrera, 22, is the club’s No. 16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Playing for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this past year, Cabrera led all Yankees Minor Leaguers in RBIs (89), ranked second in home runs (29) and fifth in batting average (.272). The switch-hitter also led the Double-A Northeast in hits (112), RBIs (78), extra-base hits (54) and total bases (215).

The 26-year-old Marinaccio spent 2021 at Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, combining to record five saves with a 2.04 ERA in 40 appearances. Over four Minor League seasons, the Brick, N.J., native has logged 18 saves with a 3.16 ERA in 88 appearances.

Pereira, 20, is rated as the Yanks’ No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline. The Venezuela product has hit .303/.398/.686 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 49 games between the FCL Yankees, Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley in 2021.

A hard-throwing right-hander who spent 2020 working as a substitute teacher in a Florida school, Ridings posted a 1.80 ERA across five relief appearances in his Major League debut this season. The 26-year-old combined to go 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA in 22 appearances with Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Sears, 25, was 10-2 with one save and a 3.46 ERA in 25 appearances (18 starts) between Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2021. Among Yankees farmhands, the left-hander ranked second in wins, third in strikeouts (136) and sixth in ERA (min. 100 IP).