Former New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier is close to signing a one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, reports ESPN's Jesse Rogers. The Yankees designated Frazier for assignment two weeks ago to clear 40-man roster space prior to the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline, then released him a few days later. The Cubs have not yet confirmed the news.
Frazier, 27, had a tough 2021 season, hitting .186/.317/.317 with five home runs in 66 games before going down with an undisclosed injury. He has a concussion history and the Yankees acknowledged he saw neurologists and vision specialists this year, though they did not provide additional details. Frazier has said he will discuss his injury at some point in the future.
id love to have the opportunity to talk about this situation publicly and probably plan to do so soon — my issues have been very personal to me and something i've wanted to handle privately but there's been a lot of inaccurate things reported about my injury that i'll clear up. https://t.co/4Ju9ZGUhcA— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) October 11, 2021
From 2018-19, Frazier authored a .267/.351/.485 batting line with 20 home runs in 123 big-league games, flashing the middle of the order potential that made him the No. 5 pick in the 2013 draft. The Yankees originally acquired Frazier in the Andrew Miller blockbuster trade with Cleveland at the 2016 deadline.
Frazier joins a fairly crowded outfield mix in Chicago that includes Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Rafael Ortega, Michael Hermosillo, and Harold Ramirez. Hermosillo and Ramirez are hardly guaranteed roster spots, however. It should be noted Frazier has a minor-league option remaining and can be sent to Triple-A next season without passing through waivers.
Because he has less than four years of service time, the Cubs will be able to retain Frazier as an arbitration-eligible in 2023 and 2024 should things go well in 2022. MLB Trade Rumors projected him to make $2.4 million through arbitration next season prior to being released by the Yankees. It's likely he signed for less than that as a free agent.