Yankees left field issue lingering since Frazier’s failure

Clint Frazier is playing for on the New York Yankees left field in 2020.
Sara Molnick
Sunday February 12, 2023

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The Yankees’ left field issue is back to square one after two seasons and they are again trying to fix that position. Andrew Benintendi only gave them a temporary respite last season and his departure has gained reopened the Yankees left field. Its root dates back to the 2021 spring training and has a lot to do with the failure of Jackson Frazier.

It was the 2020 COVID-shortened season. Jackson Frazier, who is now in Texas with a minor league deal, was then called by the Yankees following an injury to Giancarlo Stanton. He took advantage of injuries to other outfielders and became a valuable part of the lineup. He finished with an OPS of .905 in 39 games and gained prominence to man the Yankees left field.

After the season, Jackson Frazier, also known as “Clint,” looked like he was going to be the starting on the Yankees left field before the 2021 season. Manager Aaron Boone confirmed “Clint has earned his place” in February before spring training.

USA Today

Later in the spring of 2021, manager Boone told reporters:

“Especially with the improvements he’s made in every aspect of his game, at his age, his experience now and his success and confidence that he’s continued to build has put him in a position to go into this camp as an everyday player. He’s certainly earned that.”

However, Jackson Frazier, who is now 28 years old, had trouble at the plate. In June, he was taken out of a game because he felt dizzy, and he never played in the major leagues with the Yankees again. This ended Frazier’s tumultuous time with the team, during which he was involved in his own scandals and still had problems with concussions. With it, the Yankees left field issue surfaced.

The Yankees are still looking for a left fielder, in part because Jackson Frazier’s attempt to get the job didn’t work out.

Frazier was released by the Yankees last offseason and by the Cubs at the end of this past season. He didn’t do any better with the Cubs last year. Both in Chicago (.653 OPS) and in Triple-A Iowa, he wasn’t very good (.585 OPS). In Texas, where he will try to regain his MLB place.

On the other hand, the Yankees haven’t been able to get a left-handed hitter. Finding a good match for the Yankees left field was one of the key objectives of Brian Cashman during the offseason. Andrew Benintendi, who was acquired just before last year’s trade deadline, will play for the White Sox in 2023. The Yankees left field remains open as they are unable to sign their Bryan Reynolds from the Pirates so far.

The Yankees are still interested in free agents Jurickson Profar and David Peralta. Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins is also a possible trade target. If the team doesn’t add anyone else, it looks like Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Estevan Florial will fight for the Yankees left field position. Veteran players Rafael Ortega and Willie Calhoun, who the Yankees have extended spring training invitations, may also be considered.

What do you think about the Yankees left field issue? Leave your comment below.

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