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It wasn't long ago that Clint Frazier was untouchable in trade talks. A few years later, any team can pick up Frazier for some cash. The New York Yankees released Frazier on Tuesday after five middling seasons with the organization, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
The team signaled the move was coming Friday, when Frazier was designated for assignment. No team picked up Frazier, 26, on waivers, making him a free agent.
After being selected by Cleveland with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, Frazier quickly shot his way up prospect boards. He peaked as the No. 16 overall prospect in baseball prior to the 2017 season, according to Baseball Prospectus. Other publications ranked Frazier among the top 40 prospects in the game.
Frazier showed glimpses of that potential with the Yankees, but rarely had a significant playing role. He played in 69 games with the team in 2019, hitting .267/.317/.489. That remains the highest number of games in which Frazier appeared during a full season.
Frazier's most successful season came a year later. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Frazier played in 39 of the team's 60 games and hit .267/.394/.511. Frazier seemingly earned more playing time with that performance, but a miserable start to the 2021 season derailed his numbers. Frazier finished the year hitting just .186/.317/.317 in 66 games.
What's next for Clint Frazier?
Frazier has a strong prospect pedigree, has shown solid pop in the majors and is still young, so he should catch on with another major-league club before long. A change of scenery could be a good thing, as a different organization may find a way to unlock the skills Frazier showed as a prospect.
Given Frazier's inconsistent playing time in New York, he may prioritize going to a team where he'll play often. There's still a chance Frazier can carve out a solid major-league career, but his star has dimmed after he failed to establish himself with the Yankees over the last five seasons.