The New York Yankees announced on Tuesday that they had released outfielder Clint Frazier and infielder Rougned Odor, just days after designating the pair and infielder Tyler Wade for assignment to clear spots on the 40-player roster as part of a larger shakeup.
Shortly after his DFA, Wade was traded to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations. (The Yankees had also traded right-hander Nick Nelson and catcher Donny Sands to the Philadelphia Phillies for a pair of minor leaguers.)
Frazier, 27, was perhaps the most surprising casualty of the Yankees' roster crunch. It wasn't long ago he appeared as though he could become a fixture in the middle of New York's order. Indeed, in 108 games between the 2019-20 seasons, he batted .267/.347/.497 (126 OPS+) with 20 home runs. Alas, Frazier had a miserable 2021 season, posting a 76 OPS+ while injury limited him to just 66 contests. Frazier had been projected to make $2.4 million through the arbitration process, according to the estimates of MLB Trade Rumors.
Odor, acquired from the Texas Rangers for a pair of prospects in early April, and Wade were part of New York's infield depth chart. Odor had his moments with the Yankees, but not nearly enough of them to justify continuing to roster him. He hit .202/.286/.379 (82 OPS+) in 102 games. Wade, meanwhile, hit .268/.354/.323 (90 OPS+) over the course of 103 games, improving his career OPS+ to 66.
The Yankees used those open spots to protect infielder Oswaldo Cabrera, outfielder Everson Pereira, right-handed pitchers Ron Marinaccio and Stephen Ridings, and left-handed pitcher JP Sears from the Rule 5 Draft. Major League Baseball's deadline for adding prospects in advance of the winter's Rule 5 Draft passed at 6 p.m. ET.
Of course, the shunning of multiple members of the Yankees' infield depth chart will serve an additional purpose, as it will further fuel speculation that the team intends to sign one of the top free-agent shortstops -- be it Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, or someone else.