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Column: Rays should call on Clint Frazier

Rays front office

Rays could benefit from Stanton-to-New York, after all.

Hear me out…the Rays should start a conversation with the Yankees centered around Clint Frazier.

You read that right. With Giancarlo Stanton now wearing pinstripes, the Yankees will most likely look to drop some payroll. Most mock Opening Day lineups already posted have the reigning MLB home run king as the DH in New York with reigning AL home run king and rookie of the year cemented in right field.

Just typing that made my stomach churn. Pretty incredible.

With the outrageous Stanton sweepstakes finally put to rest, it’s time to see how he still could, in fact, benefit the boys under the dome in St. Pete. It starts with something the Yankees need and the Rays have plenty of – pitching.

Frazier makes sense.

In an article on, Conner Byrne suggest Jacoby Ellsbury could also be on the move along with 23-year old Frazier. Ellsbury has always hit well inside Tropicana Field but if the Rays are looking to still contend while dumping payroll, he might not be the answer. Frazier, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense.

In 2017, the Georgia-native played in 39 games hitting .231/.268/.441 in his rookie year with four home runs and 17 driven home. He has control until 2024 and isn’t arbitration-eligible until 2021. The Rays are notorious for acquiring youth with a lot of control.

How would it go down?

The Rays may not blow it up at the winter meetings but they may move a couple key names from last year’s squad. Corey Dickerson just might be one of them. He’s due to make over $6M in arbitration in 2018 and that might be more than the team cares to take on while trying to trim budget. If he goes elsewhere that would open up a spot on the depth chart in left field. Mallex Smith seems the logical choice but bringing in Frazier could make for some friendly competition. While the Rays are high on Mallex, he struggled in the second half of 2017 hitting just .213 in 46 games after the All Star break.

The Yankees need pitching, more importantly a starter. With the Rays a breeding ground for top pitching prospects, this could be a match made in heaven. Three prospects in particular could be in the conversation. Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, and Brent Honeywell are all top of the system prospects. One of them could be enticing to the Yankees and could lure a conversation about Frazier.

It could happen. The question remains on whether or not Neander, Kevin Cash, and the rest of the decision-makers in the organization feel it’s the right move.

Stepping back it might look like Frazier and Smith are virtually the same player. The difference might just be the pop in the bat of Clint over the speed of Mallex. If they’re going to part ways with Dickerson they’d lose his 30-home run potential. Frazier could make up for some of that over the course of 162 games.

Outside shot.

Landing Frazier would be a pretty big deal for a team that was just five games out of a playoff spot last season. He was the key piece in the trade that sent Andrew Miller to the Indians in 2016. It might just be an outside shot he comes to Tampa. But it’s a shot the Rays might want to take.

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