This isn't the first time Clint Frazier has heard his name brought up in rumors ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline.
"I feel like it wouldn't be a Trade Deadline unless my name is getting tossed around," Frazier joked on Wednesday ahead of the Yankees' doubleheader in Atlanta. "I feel like I can't even remember the last Trade Deadline that my name wasn't mentioned."
Since Frazier was acquired by the Yankees in 2016—part of the trade that sent reliever Andrew Miller to Cleveland—the former first-round pick has constantly been a part of Deadline talks.
This year, however, the 25-year-old has a different approach to those rumors. Instead of worrying about something out of his control, Frazier is treating interest from other ball clubs as a compliment.
"In the end, I just want to play baseball and I want to get a chance to go out there and play every single day," Frazier said. "I'm just looking at it like, whatever happens, happens. I can't really control that and I mentioned earlier, I'm done trying to play GM."
Beyond his talent between the lines, Frazier has been brought up at the Trade Deadline each year in part because he's never had a chance to be a full-time starter in pinstripes.
Since his Major League debut in 2017, the most the outfielder has ever played in a single season is 69 games a year ago. He's dealt with his fair share of injuries along the way, but a jam-packed and star-studded outfield—featuring the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton—has prevented him from establishing a consistent dosage of playing time.
With those two players out on the IL over the last two weeks, however, Frazier has shown the kind of numbers he can produce if he's in the starting lineup more often. Entering Wednesday's twin bill against the Braves, and through eight games played, Frazier is hitting .333 (9-for-27) with two home runs and eight RBI.
His first three games after being recalled from New York's alternate site featured two three-hit performances. With Judge possibly returning to IL, after reinjuring his right calf, Frazier is in line to be on the receiving end of even more playing time.
"Obviously it's not a bad thing that my name is getting mentioned in there because maybe it shows interests of other teams, you know, possibly wanting to acquire me," he said.
Frazier, who explained his girlfriend has been instrumental in his growth in maturity over the last few seasons, said he's learned to focus on baseball rather than the "outside noise" of rumors and reports.
That's why when the topic of which Yankee could be dealt before Monday came up in the team bus, Frazier was able to concentrate on the positives.
"Just looking around the bus, I realized there's a lot of people that didn't come up through this organization and I'm one of them," he explained. "There's a lot of people that did so it's just, it's cool to see how all of us come together and get to one place."
New York has been linked to a few different starting pitchers in the last few days, including Cleveland's Mike Clevinger and Seattle's Taijuan Walker. With southpaw James Paxton on the injured list for the foreseeable future, along with left-handed relievers Zack Britton and Luis Avilán, general manager Brian Cashman will certainly be tempted to add an arm or two.
Could Frazier be the player that tips the scales in a potential deal? Or does No. 77 still have a bright future in pinstripes?
He reiterated that whatever happens in the next four days, he just wants to play.
"I feel like right now I have the ability to play at a little bit of a higher level than I have in the past because I worked on a lot of things in the past and during the last offseason and I'm ready to just continue to go out there and show it so whoever it's for would be fine with me moving forward."
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