Clint Frazier was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees last week. The outfielder is coming off of a season where he struggled at the plate, hitting just .186/.317/.317 and saw his season end on June 30th after going 1-1 and being hit by a pitch. In 2019 and 2020, over the span of 108 games played, Frazier performed well, hitting .267/.347/.497 with 20 home runs.
Social media was abuzz when Clint Frazier’s DFA came out and fans of many teams were clamoring about the idea that it could make sense for their favorite team to take a chance on the former top prospect who despite a poor 2021 season was not far removed from being a well above-average hitter.
There is a lot of uncertainty, though, with regards to Clint Frazier. On top of his performance issues in 2021, though perhaps entirely related, Frazier is not or perhaps was not healthy in the 2021 season and the precise issue has not been noted publicly. When he was initially placed on the injured list in July the Yankees said it was due to vertigo. But they would later say that was not the case, and offered very little beyond that as to what was going on. Frazier wouldn’t return to the field for six weeks, but began a rehab assignment on August 10th with Tampa in Low-A, going 2-4. He then joined Double-A Somerset and played in back-to-back games on August 13th and 14th. Those would be his final games of the season as he removed himself from the lineup before the start of the game on August 15th.
The Yankees didn’t get specific, nor did Clint Frazier, about why he pulled himself from the lineup and what it was that was going on. All was quiet until October 11th when Frazier tweeted this:
id love to have the opportunity to talk about this situation publicly and probably plan to do so soon — my issues have been very personal to me and something i've wanted to handle privately but there's been a lot of inaccurate things reported about my injury that i'll clear up. https://t.co/4Ju9ZGUhcA
— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) October 11, 2021
That came six weeks ago. There hasn’t been any update from Clint Frazier since.
When it comes to health, people absolutely have the right to share what information it is that they want to share, and not disclose the information that they would rather be kept quiet.
With that said, Clint Frazier and the Yankees keeping quiet about what’s going on leaves everyone out there in the dark when it comes to potentially thinking about picking him.
When he’s been healthy, Clint Frazier has been able to hit. He’s never gotten full-time action with the Yankees, but entering the 2021 season had had a career .806 OPS and a 114 OPS+ in 162 big league games spread out over parts of four seasons. The outfielder, however, has also been rated as a below-average defender in the corner outfield spots (he’s only played center for 9 innings in the big leagues).
With Cincinnati losing Nick Castellanos to free agency, uncertainty with regards to where exactly it is that Nick Senzel fits in, the struggles of Aristides Aquino in 2021 at the plate, and the struggles since the beginning for Shogo Akiyama – the Reds outfield options for 2022 are rather uncertain beyond Jesse Winker and perhaps Tyler Naquin. Where Jose Barrero fits in could also be a topic worth exploring given that he did spend some time in the outfield with Cincinnati at the end of 2021. But it seems like it would make sense for the Reds to at least look for additional outfield help. With all of the questions surrounding Clint Frazier right now it would seem a wait-and-see approach with specific regards to his health would be a smart approach.