Bombers Send Prized Outfield Prospect Rutherford, 2 Other Minor Leaguers, And Reliever Clippard To The Windy City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The rebuilding Yankees are going for it this season after all.

The Bombers pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, acquiring power relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, and veteran infielder Todd Frazier.

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The Yankees gave up veteran reliever Tyler Clippard, outfield prospect Blake Rutherford, who was selected No. 18 overall in the 2016 draft, and minor leaguers Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo.

“It should tell them, ‘Hey, we’re in this,’ and we need to continue to play and play hard and play better than we’ve done,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after a 6-3 victory in Minnesota. “But it should be a pick-me-up in there in a sense, like, ‘Hey, there’s a lot of people who believe in this club.'”

Robertson and Kahnle give New York, which has question marks in its rotation, a significant set of relievers that can shorten games. The Yankees already boast closer Aroldis Chapman and set-up men Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve, and Chad Green.

“You’re talking about a lot of hard throwers. Guys with strikeouts. A guy needs a day off, really, anyone can move into a spot,” Girardi said.

The Yankees are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East and own the second wild-card spot. Despite Tuesday’s win, they have lost 21 of their last 31 games, due in large part to inconsistency in the bullpen.

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Robertson, a former All-Star with the Yankees who signed a four-year, $46 million free agent contract with the White Sox in December of 2014, has 123 saves over the last three-plus seasons. The 32-year-old right-hander entered Tuesday’s action 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 13 saves in 31 appearances in 2017.

Kahnle, a hard-throwing right-hander, has a 2.50 ERA, 60 strikeouts and just seven walks in 36 innings this season. The 27-year-old was the Yankees’ fifth-round pick in 2010, but was lost to the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 Rule 5 draft. He’ll be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season and will be under team control through 2020.

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Frazier, who drove in 98 runs for Chicago last season and 89 for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015, was a healthy scratch prior to the White Sox’s game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers, fueling speculation that he was on the move.

“It has been fun in Chicago, but I’m also excited to see what’s in store for me in New York,” Frazier said. “It’s pretty cool. It is kind of surreal right now because it all happened at once. You hear the rumors. It could have been a different team here and there. It’s the Yankees, so I’m pretty excited.”

The 31-year-old native of Toms River, New Jersey, who will be a free agent after this season, is hitting .207 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs and can play both third base and first base, positions the Yankees have received little-to-no production from this season.

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Clippard was 1-5 with a 4.95 ERA in 40 games for the Yankees. The 32-year-old righty had hit a rough patch recently.

“From a lifestyle standpoint, it’s getting kind of frustrating,” Clippard said. “And from a team standpoint, I love these guys. I love this organization. We’re playing well, and we’re in the thick of things. To leave is gut-wrenching for me. But it is what it is, and there’s nothing as players that we can do about it.”

The 20-year-old Rutherford was hitting .281 with 30 RBIs and 25 stolen bases at Class A Charleston. He was a South Atlantic League All-Star this year.

Clarkin, a 22-year-old lefty, was 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA as a starter at Class A Tampa, while 22-year-old outfielder Polo was hitting a combined .307 with 22 steals at Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)