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To Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s surprise, outfielder Clint Frazier was just named a Gold Glove finalist. Hate to say I told ya so, Cash, but I did say Frazier should be the starting left fielder months ago. Claims that Frazier hadn’t made enough progress with his glove were unfounded. Today, he stands as one of the top defensive outfielders in the sport.
Although Yankees management never criticized Clint’s ability to do damage with his bat, they grilled him for his glove. He obviously couldn’t have been that bad. Constructive criticism can be very useful, and Clint Frazier clearly put in the work. But let’s stop acting like the Yankees played this the right way.
As long as he stayed healthy, Clint Frazier should have started all 60 games in 2020 over Brett Gardner and that should be the case again next year. When a player of Clint Frazier’s offensive ability is in conversation for the Gold Glove, he’s a star. Many presumed that Brett Gardner would be a key role player, but Frazier has proven to have a much higher ceiling. Brett Gardner will probably tell us the same thing after he decides to retire.
Frazier hit .267 with 8 homers and 26 RBI playing a position he isn’t accustomed to playing. He expected early on to make his contributions in left field only. After a rib injury to outfielder Aaron Judge, Frazier was thrown into right field and expected to produce.
He was a monster on both sides of the ball regardless of where he played. He took criticism like a pro. It helped him improve but also kept him from securing an every day spot in the lineup.
We now wonder if the people in charge of the Bronx Bombers know what they’re doing. Should Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone be trusted next year? Yankees Chairman Hal Steinbrenner already confirmed both will be back. We can now only hope that Frazier is penciled in everyday for the ’21 campaign.
Less Money Less Problems
Many expect that the Yankees want to cut payroll to get under the tax threshold. For Clint Frazier, a tight financial offseason should help secure him in the starting lineup. Nothing will push the Yankees’ front office towards a long-term partnership with Frazier like his league-minimum contract. With baseball owners falling further in love with cheap talent, Frazier is a solid business choice.
The Yankees could potentially make the cheap move and simultaneously put one of their best players on the field. Who ever thought a payroll cut and winning would ever go hand in hand?