Out with the old, in with the new.
That’s certainly the phrase for the White Sox on Tuesday as they turned over their lineup, sending veterans Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and breakout reliever Tommy Kahnle to the Yankees in return for Tyler Clippard and three prospects while also announcing that Yoan Moncada will be called up to join the Major League club for Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The White Sox will deplete their bullpen by dealing away Robertson and Kahnle, but shore up the loss by adding Tyler Clippard in what will likely be the closing role. Clippard has struggled with the Yankees this season, with a walk rate of 4.71 per nine and a HR/FB percentage of 14.6. Clippard is currently striking out 10.40 batter per nine.
The return the White Sox received from the Bronx included outfielder Blake Rutherford, the No. 3 prospect in the Yankees system, left-hander Ian Clarkin and outfielder Tito Polo.
The centerpiece of this deal is certainly 20-year-old Blake Rutherford. “Blake is a guy who was very high on our draft boards,” Hahn said of Rutherford. “We debated him right up through our pick last year.” Rutherford is the No. 36 prospect overall according to MLB.com. “I don’t like putting comps on players but we do view him as having an extremely high ceiling and a guy who when we start looking around at Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada. He fits into that potential mold of a potential high-impact offensive player who potentially can also help you defensively,” Hahn said. Rutherford hit .281 while with the Yankees Class A Charleston team.
Ian Clarkin, 22, was ranked as the Yankees No. 19 prospect according to MLB.com and was in Class A Tampa where he had a 2.62 ERA over 75 IP with 58 strikeouts. He comes with a long injury history but has a good mix of pitches that include an above-average breaking ball and a fringe-average changeup that could be interesting in use as a long reliever if Clarkin doesn’t make the starting rotation in the future. The White Sox have a long track record of keeping their pitching healthy, so perhaps the injuries are not a major concern for the organization.
Tito Polo, 22, was the mystery fourth piece in the deal. “Tito Polo is a center fielder who has gotten off to a torrid start in CF,” Hahn said. “He can run a little bit and swing.” Polo came to the Yankees in August of 2016 as the player to be named later in the Ivan Nova trade with Pittsburgh. Polo was a resident at both High-A Tampa and Double A Trenton in the Yankees system this season, where he hit nearly .300 between the two affiliates and had an OBP of .365 in Double A.
It was nothing short of an exciting day on the South Side with the Dodgers being in town and rolling out Clayton Kershaw, the addition of more prospects to bulk up their flourishing minor league system and, oh, let’s not forget about Moncada. He’ll be on the South Side on Wednesday.