(CBS) The White Sox pulled off yet another massive move in their rebuilding process Tuesday evening.
Chicago has traded closer David Robertson, third baseman Todd Frazier and reliever Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees, the team announced. The trade was finalized after news of the deal broke during the White Sox’s 1-0 loss to the Dodgers earlier in the evening.
In return, the headlining prospect the White Sox received was 20-year-old outfielder Blake Rutherford, a first-round pick of the Yankees in 2016. Chicago also received big league reliever Tyler Clippard, Double-A outfielder Tito Polo and Class-A pitcher Ian Clarkin.
“We made the determination that bundling these three players together was the best way to maximize our return on any transaction,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “We felt this trade with the Yankees brought back the most quality as opposed to spreading our assets across multiple deals.”
Coming five days after the White Sox received prized outfielder prospect Eloy Jimenez from the Cubs in the Jose Quintana trade, it continued the revamping of the organization that began last December with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton.
The lefty-swinging Rutherford is rated as the No. 30 prospect in the game by MLB.com and No. 36 prospect by Baseball America. He’s hitting .281 with two homers, 30 RBIs and a .733 OPS in 71 at low Class-A. He’s a career .302 hitter in two minor league seasons.
“Blake Rutherford is a player who has been high on our evaluation list since he was taken as a first-round choice by the Yankees as an amateur,” Hahn said.
A 22-year-old left-hander, Clarkin is 4-5 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 15 games at advanced Class-A, including 14 starts. He’s struck out 58 and walked 25 in 75 2/3 innings.
Clippard, 32, has a 4.95 ERA in 40 appearances this season. He was presumably included in the deal to help offset salary, as he’s a free agent at season’s end.
Polo, 22, is batting .298 with five homers, 36 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 72 games across two levels of the minor leagues. He was originally signed by the Pirates in 2012 as a non-drafted free agent.
In contention but trailing the Red Sox by 3.5 games in the AL East entering play Tuesday, the Yankees were seeking upgrades at a handful of places and pulled that off.
The 32-year-old Robertson has a 2.70 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 33 1/3 innings this season while striking out 47 batters and walking 11. He played for the Yankees from 2008-’14 before he signed with the White Sox in free agency. He’s under contract control through 2018.
Frazier, 31, entered Tuesday hitting .207 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs in 81 games. After a slow start to the season, his OPS has climbed to .761. He’s in the final year of his contract. After a
Kahle, 27, has a 2.50 ERA and 0.97 WHIP while striking out 60 batters and walking seven in 36 innings.
Frazier was scratched from White Sox lineup just 40 minutes prior to first pitch against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. He had long been considered a trade chip once Chicago decided to rebuild.
Last Thursday, the White Sox traded Quintana to the Cubs in a deal that sent four prospects back, including Jimenez and right-hander Dylan Cease, who’s considered a top-70 prospect by many.
Outfielder Melky Cabrera is considered one of the remaining trade pieces for the White Sox as the July 31 non-waiver deadline looms.