Among the Yankees’ moves to free up 40-man roster space was a dual DFA: Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade. While not officially the end for either player, the move tells us that they’re essentially done as Yankees, a disappointing end for the duo.
While Wade won’t find fans ’round this blog, it’s worth noting that his profile suggested he could be a useful piece for the Yankees’ bench. It just didn’t work out that way. It’s entirely possible he fills this role for another team, and we wish him well on a personal level.
Clint, on the other hand, was one of our personal favorites, but it just didn’t work out for him. Head injuries led to a blown chance at the beginning of this season and that effectively sunk his Yankee career. It’s too bad because his personality and skillset made him seem destined for stardom in New York. Hopefully, Clint gets healthy and tears it up somewhere.
Regardless of how we feel about these players or this move, the move itself gives us a bit of a window into how the 2022 Yankees will operate. Finally, it seems, they will take roster depth seriously.
It seems counterintuitive to say they’ll prioritize depth after they just cut two guys who would be, well, good depth, but both players are a combination of flawed and frequently unavailable to play, meaning they’re easily upgraded.
If the Yankees go after a center fielder and relegate Aaron Hicks to fourth OF status, if they continue to play Giancarlo Stanton in the field with even a little frequency, it’s hard to see how Frazier gets playing time. If (when) the Yankees sign a shortstop, it relegates someone in their already talented infield to bench/utility duty and whether that’s Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, or Gleyber Torres, any of those three is better than Wade.
Even if the Yankees don’t follow either of those plans, which is unlikely, it is likely that anyone they would sign or trade for to fill a bench role would be better than Frazier or Wade.
The degrees to which we’ll miss Wade and Frazier certainly vary, but if their losses help make the 2022 Yankees a better team, the move will have been worth it. Given the upcoming CBA expiration, this move and its potential outcomes may have to sate us for a while.