Just after the deadline to set their 40-man roster, the New York Yankees announced that they have designated Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, and Tyler Wade for assignment.
Frazier, a former top prospect, struggled to carve out a role for himself and battled injuries and poor performance this past season. In just 66 games in 2021, Frazier slashed .186/.317/.317 with an 83 wRC+ and -0.9 WAR. Odor, who came to New York last offseason after being released by the Texas Rangers, slashed .202/.282/.405 with an 83 wRC+ and 0.6 fWAR in 102 games for the Yankees. Wade, who has been in the Yankees system since 2014, appeared in 103 games last year, posting a career best line of .268/.354/.323, 92 wRC+, and 0.9 WAR.
In addition to these moves, the Yankees also announced that they dealt reliever Nick Nelson and long-time catching prospect Donny Sands to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for infielder T.J. Rumfield and pitcher Joel Valdez.
Nick Nelson, 25, was drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft. Making his debut in 2020, Nelson found himself shuttling back and forth between the minor leagues and the majors as a bullpen and spot starter. In 35 innings pitched across 22 appearances, Nelson sports a 6.43 ERA, 4.95 FIP, 23.8 percent strikeout percentage, and 16.1 percent walk percentage. Donny Sands, 25, was drafted by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2015 MLB draft, but was ultimately unable to crack the major league team. In six seasons in the minor leagues, Sands slashed .268/.331/.382 with 26 home runs.
In exchange, the Yankees received 21-year-old first baseman T.J. Rumfield. Selected in the 12th round of last year’s draft, the Rumfield made his single-A debut this year, where he slashed .250/.426/.263 in very limited action. In addition to Rumfield, the Yankees also added left-handed pitcher Joel Valdez. Valdez, also 21, made his debut in the Phillies’ system in 2019. In 75.2 innings pitched across two seasons in the minors, Valdez has pitched to a 2.62 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with 70 strikeouts, 32 walks. Perhaps surprisingly, Valdez has not given up a home run in his professional career thus far.
These moves were ultimately made to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Oswaldo Cabrera, outfielder Everson Pereira, and pitchers Stephen Ridings, Ron Marinaccio, and JP Sears. As a result, these players will be protected when the Rule 5 draft comes around next month.