The White Sox have one year left under penalty for signing Luis Robert, meaning they cannot sign amateur international free agents for more than $300,000. While there are plenty of July 2 signings at $300,000 and below who wind up being contributors in the majors, it does mean they have a lot of money they can’t use on much other than trades.
Meanwhile, the Yankees who, on top of being fabulously wealthy, are superb at scouting and pull major league pitching prospects out of thin air / late rounds of the draft. The only “downside” to this is every year they wind up with more players they need to protect on their 40-man roster than they can. For instance, just last year, of the fifteen players selected in the Major League portion of the Rule V draft, three were grabbed from the Yankees.
Put these things together and voila, you have this trade: The White Sox acquired Caleb Frare from the Yankees whom they likely can’t protect in exchange for international free agency pool money which the White Sox can’t use.
So, since the trade makes so much sense, Frare fits the Yankees surprise relief prospect profile quite well — 11th round draft pick, pop up velocity, picked out of a random high school in Montana, and is suddenly laying waste to the upper minors. So far in 2018, he’s thrown 44.67 innings across Double-A and Triple-A and has an ERA of 0.81 with a K:BB of 3.87. I suppose the wrinkle is he’s left-handed.
He throws in the mid-90s and has a plus slider, although he has had injury and command problems in the past. Those are also issues the White Sox have done well with addressing historically. As much as I try to avoid comping guys to players already in the organization because it feels too convenient to be accurate, a member of our prospect team said he could be similar to Jace Fry.
Frare doesn’t have the franchise-changing potential of someone like Eloy Jimenez or Yoan Moncada. He’s a left-handed reliever. But, he could be a really good one! Not a bad way to use the international free agent money.
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