Hal Steinbrenner
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Clint Frazier is looking more and more like trade bait, but New York Yankees boss Hal Steinbrenner seems to be in favor of keeping him.

Aaron Case

If you’re a New York Yankees fan who desires to see Clint Frazier in pinstripes long-term, your wish just might come true. Hal Steinbrenner’s statement to the New York Post’s Greg Joyce on Wednesday indicates he’d also like to keep the one known as Wildling:

“I think he’s got a great career ahead of him,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s got a lot of talent. … He’ll be a big part of this team going forward. He certainly has the capability of doing that.”

New York sent Frazier to triple-A on Sunday to make room for newly acquired Edwin Encarnacion and returning teammate Giancarlo Stanton. The demotion fueled rampant speculation that the Bombers will offload Frazier for a starting pitcher.

Steinbrenner’s words directly contradict that line of reasoning, which should make many fans quite happy.

Before being displaced by the two veteran sluggers, Frazier was in the middle of a breakout year. The 24-year-old outfielder slashed .283/.330/.513 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI in 53 games.

Even more impressive is his clutch factor. With runners in scoring position, Frazier upped his output to .375/.417/.825.

Yankees fans who would like to bid adieu to Frazier are likely focused on his major flaw: horrific defense.

Frazier regularly misplayed balls in right field, committing three errors in 227.2 innings at the position. By comparison, Tim Tebow, who isn’t far removed from being a TV analyst and washed up quarterback, has only committed one error in 349 outfield innings at triple-A this year.

Whatever you think of Frazier’s glove, though, his bat is certainly MLB quality. But for now he’ll have to tear up lower-level pitching with it.

Probably his only ways back to the Bigs before rosters expand in September are via trade or more Yankees injuries.

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