Toms River’s Todd Frazier Traded to Hometown New York Yankees
Todd Frazier is coming home.
The former Toms River South superstar was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the New York Yankees late Tuesday night as part of a blockbuster deal that strengthens the Yankees' pursuit of a championship. Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahlne head to New York in exchange for reliever Tyler Clippard and prospects Blake Rutherford, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo.
Frazier famously led Toms River East American to the 1998 Little League World Series championship, earning national attention. He then led Toms River South to back-to-back NJSIAA Group III state titles in 2002 and 2003 before starring at Rutgers University where he set the Scarlet Knights' record for career home runs (42). Frazier was drafted with a supplemental first round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 2007.
There's also the locally iconic photo of a 12-year old Frazier standing next to Derek Jeter in Yankee Stadium when Toms River East American was invited to the House that Ruth built.
Frazier explained his feels about the trade to Chicago reporters Tuesday night.
"To get back in a pennant race, it's a great opportunity for me, to showcase what I got," Frazier told ESPN.com. "I see the team that they have, and they have a really good team."
The 31-year old Frazier is batting .207 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI this season. He was a two-time All-Star with the Reds before joining the White Sox in 2016. Last season Frazier hit just .225 but mashed 40 home runs and drove in 98 runs. He won the 2015 Home Run Derby while a member of the Reds.
Frazier is a third baseman by trade but can also play first base, which is likely where the Yankees will have him play most nights. Greg Bird tore up spring training pitching and appeared to be on his way to a big season. He was injured early in the year, however, and is out for the season after having foot surgery early this week. Chris Carter did not provide the consistent power the Yankees signed him for and was jettisoned at the all-star break. Ji-Man Choi and Garrett Cooper, the latter recently acquired form Milwaukee, have been decent but the Yankees first basemen have a colelctive .686 OPS on the season, which is second-worst in the American League.
Frazier will also likely platoon with Chase Headley at third base.
Rutherford was the key piece that enabled the Yankees to land Frazier and the bullpen help they sorely needed. The 20-year old outfielder was the No. 18 selection in the 2016 draft and is currently No. 37 on MLB.com's preseason prospect list and No. 36 on Baseball America's midseason top 100 list. Clarkin is a left-handed starting pitcher and Polo is an outfielder who played for Colombia's World Baseball Classic team.
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