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The Yankees and White Sox swung a blockbuster, but what happens now?

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Brian Cashman pulled the trigger on a big trade. What does it all mean?

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of Tuesday’s Yankees-Twins matchup, the Bronx Bombers agreed to a sizable trade with the openly-selling Chicago White Sox. The team sent prospects Blake Rutherford and Ian Clarkin, along with Tyler Clippard to the South Side in exchange for infielder Todd Frazier, reliever Tommy Kahnle, and our old friend David Robertson.

What does this mean for the roster? First and foremost, the bullpen becomes the best in baseball, period. Robertson is striking out 12.69 batters per 9 innings, and is actually outdone by Kahnle’s 15.00 K/9. In an era of power bullpens, the Yankees may have assembled the best group of bat-missers yet.

Todd Frazier looks to fill in as a first base/third base platoon. A 103 wRC+ makes him a giant upgrade at first, where his 16 home runs eclipse total production from all the players the Yankees have stuck their in 2017. The biggest challenge initially is finding roster spots when both the 25-man and 40-man rosters are full. Since so many players have options, it shouldn’t be difficult to clear spots on the 25-man. The 40-man will be a tougher nut to crack.

If Frazier will split time at first and third with Chase Headley, than both Ji-Man Choi and Garret Cooper find themselves in the crosshairs. Given Headley’s struggle against left-handed pitching this season —- 37 wRC+! — it probably makes the most sense to bench him against southpaws, start Frazier at third and Cooper at first. You’d then move Headley to third and Frazier to first against right-handed pitching, making Choi the odd man out. Choi has passed through waivers before without being claimed, so it makes the most sense for the Yankees to lean in that direction.

Dealing Clippard opens up a 40-man spot for one of the relievers, meaning the Yankees only need to find one more spot. Luis Cessa and Rob Refsnyder both jump out as DFA candidates to free up the final spot. Cessa has struggled at the major-league level as a starter, and the Yankees now have superior bullpen pieces. Refsnyder meanwhile, has had well-documented offensive troubles while failing to play defense well enough to have much value. Either would probably pass through waivers without being claimed.

Once the roster spots are clear, how will this affecting payroll? It doesn’t seem like Chicago is sending any money to the Yankees to offset the costs of three major league players. Frazier is signed for $12 million this season, prorate that to just over $5 million due to him left this season (77 days of major league service left, $12M x (77/183)). He’s a free agent at the end of the year.

As for the relievers, Robertson is due the same $5 million and change, as he’s owed $12 million for 2017. Next season that goes up to $13 million, making him the second-most-expensive reliever on the roster. Kahnle, on the other hand, will be eligible for arbitration in 2018, so he’ll see a raise from the major-league minimum he’s earning this season.

Lastly, there’s speculation over how this will affect the balance of power in the AL East. The power of the bullpen is an obvious focal point, as it should be able to shorten games and help neutralize some of the offense of teams like Tampa Bay and Boston.

Frazier’s also an excellent candidate for some positive regression. He got off to a horrible start to the season but rebounded nicely with a 145 wRC+ in June. If he continues to be around league average, that’s a huge upgrade from the Yankees 2017 first basemen. If he continues to improve, he makes an impressive lineup even deeper.

Overall this is a pretty net positive for the Yankees. It should boost their performance in close games, with better relief pitching and a deeper lineup for those games where they’ve needed just one more big hit. The financial commitment is significant, but again, this is the New York Yankees. Financial resources are supposed to be something this team can leverage better than anyone.

Roster information courtesy of Baseball-Reference, contract information courtesy of Cot’s